Given the current pandemic and resultant public health crisis. With COVID-19 cases rising dramatically in Israel and abroad, United Hatzalah dispatchers have been handling a significant spike in general medical calls as well as hundreds of calls from people requesting information about COVID-19. 

At the scene 1024x768 2
United Hazalah volunteers at the scene of a work emergency. (Illustration)

Israelis are all hunkering down under more and more serious restrictions on a daily basis, however, there are still plenty of people who need to go to work to keep the economy running. Such is the case with most factory workers across the country who are relied upon to keep production humming of the basic needs of Israelis. 

Across the country, United Hatzalah’s 6000+ volunteers have been responding to large-scale COVID-19 exposure emergencies. In one call last week in Netanya, a wedding celebration came to a crashing halt when one of the guests received a confirmation that his apartment-mate tested positive for the virus. Our dedicated team of volunteers raced to the scene to provide support for the guests and to ensure that the people who needed quarantine would do so in a timely fashion. All this while they endeavored to keep passersby, onlookers and themselves from unintended exposure. Fortunately, with the new measures in place, there have been fewer group incidents but more individual concerns.

One afternoon just after 2:00 p.m., a serious and possibly deadly accident was reported at a local factory on HaShoftim Street in Holon. A worker had sustained a severe, disfiguring injury to his hand and he was losing a lot of blood quickly. 

Without a moment’s hesitation, United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Yossi Mamia raced to the nearby location, arriving just 90 seconds later. Yossi didn’t flinch; the seasoned EMT applied a tourniquet to stem the heavy bleeding, and expertly bandaged the injury site. All potentially recoverable tissue was collected and placed into a bag that was placed inside another bag with ice in order to preserve it for emergency reconstructive microsurgery. The patient was loaded into an arriving ambulance and rushed to the hospital in serious but stable condition. 

As citizens throughout the country cope with the fallout from the Coronavirus pandemic, it is important to note that regular emergencies don’t stop. Whatever the cause, United Hatzalah’s volunteers stand at the ready to help those in need.