In addition to ambucycles, ambubikes, and ATVs, United Hatzalah also utilizes emergency fly cars to enable some of their more experienced volunteers to reach medical emergencies faster. These cars are registered emergency vehicles complete with lights and sirens and are able to rush from emergency to emergency and arrive faster than regular cars.
Ariel Ben David is one such volunteer who has received a fly car from the organization due to his expertise and his experience as a volunteer as well as his having served in numerous leadership positions within the organization.
On a recent Thursday, a driver was cruising down the highway near Shoham when he became distracted and crashed into the back of a tractor-trailer. Witnesses urgently called for help. Ariel was already on the same highway in his fly car when his walkie-talkie crackled, alerting him to the serious accident. Instantly, Ariel flipped on his lights and sirens and sped to the location – arriving first on site.
The car had borne the brunt of the impact, and Ariel quickly checked the vehicle for victims. A 40-year-old man suffered multiple wounds and possible spinal injuries. Together with arriving United Hatzalah ambucycle medics, Ariel secured the man’s airway, staunched bleeding and provided immobilization. The medics also treated the 18-year-old tractor-trailer driver who, protected by the heavy vehicle, sustained only minor injuries. In the fastest time possible, the victims were prepped and ready for transport. Ambulances arrived and the victims were rushed to the nearest trauma center.
In another incident, a 74-year-old tourist from Mexico had been visiting Israel when he suffered a heart attack and collapsed on the floor of his hotel room. The man’s panicked wife was sobbing and shouting for help. A private physician hired by the hotel staff soon arrived to initiate CPR, calling emergency dispatch to request back-up.
It was late Shabbat afternoon when Ariel received the alert. The devoted EMT rushed out to his fly car and quickly sped to the area. He grabbed the AED and raced inside to the couple’s hotel room.
Ariel found the elderly man pulseless on the floor, with the physician busily performing chest compressions. The volunteer medic quickly attached the defibrillator pads to provide a pair of powerful electric shocks from the AED. Additional United Hatzalah volunteers soon arrived to assist, followed by the crew of a Mobile Intensive Care Unit. An IV was attached, cardiac medications were provided and soon the combined team managed to restore a steady pulse. The patient even began breathing again independently. The man was then evacuated to the hospital for emergency catheterization.
Thanks to his experience and his emergency vehicle Ariel was able to provide vital treatment in as short a time as possible with a caring hand.