On a recent Sunday in Ramla, United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Levi Yitzchak Ofen was alerted to an adult male with seizures.  Within seconds, Levi, who drives one of the organization’s iconic ambucycles, was racing to the location on the other side of the city.  Fortunately for the ill man, Levi was riding his emergency ambucycle. With red lights flashing and siren blaring, Levi carefully wove through the horrendous traffic and busy intersections. Arriving first on the scene, he found a 54-year-old truck driver slumped over in the cabin, exhibiting agonal breaths. Levi quickly checked the man’s pulse and finding none, enlisted a passerby to help him remove the man from the cabin and lay him on the ground.  The experienced EMT immediately began chest compressions, ensuring that critical oxygen would reach the man’s brain and vital organs.


Levi then attached the defibrillator pads to the man’s bare chest and the digital voice announced that a shock was advised.  After making sure that no one was touching the patient, Levi pressed the flashing button and the man’s chest heaved upward from the powerful electric jolt.  Two other United Hatzalah volunteers arrived and assisted Levi with the compressions and ventilation, which they administered via a bag-valve-mask and oxygen tank. Shortly afterward, another shock was advised.  After the second shock and a few more minutes of CPR, an ambulance crew arrived and joined the rescue effort.


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An ambucycle (illustration)

Curious spectators stood agape as they watched the team valiantly fight for the relatively young man’s life, right there on the side of the street.  After one more shock and numerous rounds of compressions, the man’s pulse suddenly returned. The CPR had been successful. When the mobile intensive care unit arrived, all that was left to do was to intubate the man and transport him to the hospital. 


Levi later heard that the man, who has a wife and children, underwent a successful catheterization and had suffered no neurological damage whatsoever.  The caring EMT and his United Hatzalah colleagues went to visit the man in the hospital for what was an emotional “reunion”. 


Levi starting CPR so close to the moment of cardiac arrest was absolutely vital in the success of reviving the patient.


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