When Moti Elmaliach is not working as the head of strategy and PR at United Hatzalah, he is out saving lives as one of the organization’s 6,000 volunteer EMTs. Moti lives with his family in Tel Aviv and often responds to medical emergencies that take place in his neighborhood
One afternoon a few weeks ago, Moti was driving his emergency response flycar down Tel Aviv’s Ayalon Highway when dispatchers identified him as the closest available EMT to an accident that had just taken place. Moti confirmed that he was on his way via his Bluebird communication device, and headed towards the given location Moti arrived at the scene of the accident in less than a minute.
He found a motorcyclist in his 30s who had lost control of his vehicle and crashed on the side of the Highway. Blood was gushing from the site of an open fracture in the man’s leg. Grabbing a CAT tourniquet from his medical bag, Moti applied the tourniquet a few centimeters above the fracture to stem the potentially lethal blood flow. A second United Hatzalah volunteer arrived at the scene and assisted Moti in taking vital signs and bandaging the injured rider’s other wounds. 12 minutes later, an ambulance arrived and the two volunteers assisted the crew in loading the victim aboard the emergency vehicle for transportation to the nearest hospital. Had Moti not arrived and the urgent medical intervention been delayed until the ambulance’s arrival, the motorcyclist would surely have bled to death.
Two days later, Moti went to his local supermarket to buy a doughnut peach, a special variety that is only available for a few weeks each year. The store’s regular produce manager, with whom he is friendly, was absent and the other employees were unfamiliar with the rare fruit. When Moti inquired when the produce manager would return, he was told that he had just been in an accident. Piecing together the time and the place, Moti realized that it was his friend’s life that he had saved on the highway.
“This is not the first time that I ended up helping a person I knew,” Moti said. “This is what we do in United Hatzalah, we help the people around us, by providing emergency medical care when it is needed most. At the end of the day, we end up helping our neighbors, friends, and families. Knowing that any emergency that I respond to may involve me helping a friend or a neighbor, someone from my own community gives me more impetus to respond to medical emergencies no matter what time of day or night.”
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