United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Erez Agassi lives in Shoham and strives to make a difference every day and help those around him. Like many of his fellow Israelis, Erez has been facing increased pressure at his place of employment as of late, with coronavirus-related stressors building, making it increasingly difficult to continue responding to medical emergencies when they arise. 

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Scene of the accident

One morning last week, Erez was commuting from his home in Shoham to his workplace in the central city of Lod, when traffic suddenly slowed to a crawl. Suspecting an accident had occurred, Erez wove his ambucycle ahead past the line of cars to investigate. Unfortunately, his fears were confirmed – a moped rider had been struck by another vehicle and was lying on the asphalt bleeding from his injuries.

Erez now faced a moment of truth; though the clock was ticking, he would be late for work and faced possible consequences from his employer. Regardless of the consequences, the dedicated EMT didn’t hesitate. He radioed-in to headquarters for back-up, positioned his ambucycle with the lights flashing to protect the 30-year-old victim from oncoming traffic, and selflessly got to work caring for the young man, bandaging his wounds and immobilizing his injured limbs.

A fellow volunteer arrived to assist with the rescue, followed several minutes later by a Mobile Intensive Care Unit (MICU) ambulance. The ambulance driver knows Erez well and instructed his crew to follow the United Hatzalah volunteer’s directives, as the ambucycle EMT ‘ran the call’. Soon the patient was stable and ready for transport; Erez and his colleagues applied a neck brace, secured the young man to a backboard, and loaded him into the awaiting MICU for evacuation to the nearest trauma center. One of Erez’s co-workers drove by him while he was treating the injured motorcyclist and continued on his way to work.  

When Erez finally made it into work, he was concerned about repercussions from his boss. He walked into the building and his supervisor came over to him, put an arm on his shoulder and told him that in spite of his being late, he approved of Erez’s decision to stop and help as it was the responsible thing to do.  

“My co-worker had told my boss that I was late because I was helping an injured motorcyclist. He had seen me at the scene and told my boss that I was coming in late and that I was due to me helping save someone’s life. My boss was very supportive in spite of the pressure that we are all facing. When faced with an accident, especially when I am the first at the scene, there really is no choice but to stop and help. I didn’t even think twice about stopping. I did what needed to be done. Thankfully my boss was understanding and the motorcyclist got the care that he needed.” 

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