Early Thursday morning, a man in his fifties traveling to Ben Gurion airport suffered a heart attack right outside the front gate to the departures lounge. United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Yoni Uziyahu, was at the airport, rushed over, and together with the airport medical team, began CPR and succeeded in reviving the man.

United Hatzalah volunteer's ambucycle parked outside of gate 3 at Ben Gurion airport
United Hatzalah volunteer’s ambucycle parked outside of gate 3 at Ben Gurion airport


Uziyahu, who lives in Bat Yam, had been at the airport for business as he is a supplier for some of the coffee shops and duty-free stores in the airport. “I am so full of positive energy right now that I am literally shaking,” Uziyahu said. “There is no better feeling in the world than starting off your day by saving someone’s life. That is what United Hatzalah is about – taking volunteers who are going about their daily lives, giving us the training and the equipment we need to save a life and getting us the information that someone needs help nearby. Due to all of these factors combined we saved this man’s life today.”


Uziyahu said that he received the call via the emergency medical application on his phone which notified him about the emergency. He told the dispatch center that he was en route to the spot of the emergency and arrived in less than three minutes from the time that the heart attack occurred. “It is not a question of being in the right place at the right time. I wasn’t doing anything special, I was doing my job and the emergency occurred.”


Founder and President of the organization Eli Beer commended Uziyahu and the other responders for their quick response and successful resuscitation. “This is the beauty of what our volunteers do. They are trained and know how to help people who need that help right next to them. They are notified about the problem, drop whatever they are doing, rush out to the victim, arrive in the fastest time possible and help them. That is what makes all of the United Hatzalah volunteers so amazing.”

The patient did not make his flight. After receiving one shock from the defibrillator the patient revived. He was then transported in stable condition to the nearest hospital.