Marwan Masarwe volunteers as an EMT and runs United Hatzalah’s chapter in the Muslim city of Taibe. Last Friday night, Marwan received an emergency notification on his communication device regarding a serious road accident at a nearby intersection. The devoted medic dashed out of his home and raced to the location on his ambucycle. Another two United Hatzalah volunteer EMTs joined him at the scene and together they quickly triaged the victims.
The four-car collision had injured eight people, following the quick triage, Marwan focused on two victims, both seriously injured and trapped in their mangled vehicles. Marwan and his colleagues worked feverishly to wrench open the crushed doors, and carefully extricated the dazed drivers. Once free of the wreckage, the team of first responders provided medical treatment for the injuries suffered by the patients. Both of the seriously injured drivers had sustained bleeding head wounds. Together with his fellow EMTs, Marwan bandaged the injuries, affixed neck braces, and set up IV lines.
By the time ambulances started to arrive six minutes later, both patients had been extricated and stabilized. Ambulance crews assisted in completing on-site care and within a few minutes, both seriously injured victims were on the way to the hospital. Meanwhile, Marwan stayed at the scene and continued treating the other six people involved in the collision, all of whom were lightly injured.
“After the incident was over, I looked at my fellow volunteers from United Hatzalah and we all shared the same emotion, a true sense of satisfaction in knowing that we had just saved the lives of two people in the past few minutes,” Masarwe said. “There is very little that can compare to such a feeling.”
Masarwe, had opened the chapter in Taibe three years prior in order to help provide a faster emergency medical response to those in need in his city. With close to 40 volunteers, EMTs, paramedics, nurses, and doctors, the change in the city has been palpable as emergency medical response times have gone from 15 minutes on average of waiting for an ambulance to arrive, to less than three minutes and having a fully equipped first responder on scene throughout the city.
Masarwe explained, “If it takes an ambulance a long time to arrive, say 20 minutes or more, than, in most serious cases the patient could die while waiting for medical intervention. Now that we have people from the community who have the training and equipment necessary, we can intervene and begin treatment while the patient waits for the ambulance team to arrive. And that makes a huge difference.”
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