On Monday morning, United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Avi Behar was driving his ambucycle on HaOrgim street in Ashdod on his way to work. At 7:10 a.m., Avi parked his ambucycle when he was suddenly alerted to a nearby emergency, occurring on the same street he was on. A few buildings down, a 50-year-old man was in the gym working out on the treadmill when he suddenly collapsed. Avi quickly got back onto his ambucycle and rushed over to the gym, arriving in 30 seconds.

A United Hatzalah volunteer on his ambucycle
A United Hatzalah volunteer on his ambucycle – Illustration

Upon arrival, Avi found the unconscious man laying on the treadmill, surrounded by a group of people, one of whom was a personal trainer. The personal trainer informed Avi that before a call was made to United Hatzalah’s Dispatch and Command Center, he had administered a shock with the defibrillator supplied by the gym.


Avi quickly checked the man’s vital signs and began assisted ventilations using the oxygen tank from his medical bag. After a few minutes of chest compressions on the man, his pulse returned. With the oxygen tank still providing ventilation, the man began breathing again on his own.


After making sure the man’s pulse was steady and he was receiving ventilation, Avi attached an IV for additional fluids. Five minutes after the man began breathing on his own, a mobile intensive care ambulance arrived at the scene. Still unconscious, the 50-year-old was taken to the nearest hospital.


“I never thought I would find myself doing CPR on a man who half his body was laying on a treadmill,” commented Avi. “I know how sometimes in the gym, you can push yourself to do more than your body can handle. It’s important to always keep track of how we are feeling while at the gym, and in case of an emergency, either myself or someone else from United Hatzalah will be 30 seconds away, waiting for the alert.”

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