Recently, the end of a regular bus journey turned ghastly for an elderly woman as she reached into the baggage compartment to retrieve her belongings. Suddenly the electronic door began to close as the driver was unaware that the woman was still there. The door closed on her chest and pinned her to the floor of the cargo area. The driver still hadn’t noticed the problem and drove off as the victim’s legs flailed wildly outside. Shocked bystanders saw the bus drive away and began screaming at the bus driver in order to get him to stop and pull over. People ahead ran on the road and banged loudly on the side of the bus. More than 100 feet later, the bus driver noticed the commotion, came to a halt and quickly opened the luggage compartment door.
Chaim Dovid Goldman, a United Hatzalah volunteer EMT was riding his ambucycle nearby when he got the urgent call for help. Despite the standstill traffic, he was able to navigate the busy streets with his ambucycle and arrived at the location in sixty seconds!
Goldman found the woman collapsed on the street surrounded by shocked onlookers and stopped cars. He jumped off his ambucycle, grabbed his medical kit, and quickly took the victim’s vitals. The door had crushed her ribs, making her breathing extremely difficult to the point that she wasn’t able to make sounds.
The experienced EMT quickly administered high-flow oxygen from his medical kit. A few minutes later, her conditions improved and she began to breathe easier. Goldman monitored her vitals and calmed the victim as they waited nearly 10 minutes for the ambulance to arrive. Finally, the ambulance crew arrived to find that the victim’s breathing had greatly improved and she was even able to speak a few words. Working together with the ambulance crew, Goldman helped the woman onto a stretcher, as passersby thanked him for helping the elderly lady so quickly.
Upon hearing of the incident, the President and Founder of United Hatzalah Eli Beer said, “We wish the woman the best of health and a quick recovery. I together with all of those involved in this terrible incident am thankful for Chaim’s quick intervention. We founded the organization to provide help in exactly these situations, where seconds count and the patient cannot afford to wait for an ambulance to arrive in order to begin treatment. Together, the 3,200 emergency medical service volunteers at United Hatzalah provide a national network of pre-ambulatory response to intervene in the moments that matter most. We never hope for an accident or a tragedy, but we do our best to make sure that if such a thing occurs, that we will be able to be there to provide the fastest treatment possible. I thank Chaim, and all of the volunteers like him for his dedication and help that each of them offers their community and the people of Israel.”