On Sunday afternoon, just before 1:00 p.m., United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Ron Cohen was in his home in northern Tel Aviv when his communications device began to ring, alerting Ron of a medical emergency occurring nearby. Just a few buildings away, a year-and-a-half-old baby girl began choking, and her frantic mother quickly called United Hatzalah’s Dispatch and Command Center.

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Ron Cohen after the choking incident in Tel Aviv

“I glanced at my Bluebird communication device and read the address, saw the words ‘choking’ and the baby’s age, and immediately ran out,” said Ron. “I ran out of my building with determination, completely blinded by the will to help, jumped on my ambucycle and headed down the street a few doors down. I was so determined and driven, I didn’t even realize that I got to the apartment of the choking baby, which was on the fourth floor, in 35 seconds.”


As Ron arrived, he found some neighbors standing outside the door, who heard the mother’s screams, and ushered him inside. Ron entered the apartment and found a blue-faced baby barely breathing in the arms of her frantic mother.


Ron quickly took over, flipped the baby over on her back, and began administering measured back blows in an attempt to expel the blockage that was lodged in the infant’s throat. After a few seconds of measured back blows, the blockage came flying out of the infant’s mouth and she began to breathe once more. 


“All of the people that were present kept thanking me that I had helped the child and were shocked that I had arrived so quickly,” added Ron. “I honestly was so overcome with adrenaline that I didn’t even see what was stuck in the girl’s airway causing her to stop breathing. All I saw was a beautiful baby breathing once again. Most of all, the girl’s mother couldn’t stop thanking me that I had arrived so fast.”


Ron and the baby’s mother stayed in touch after the emergency, and Ron even returned to visit the baby girl. 


Ron adds: “The mother feels indebted to me now, but in reality, I was just doing what any first responder with the training would do if they were nearby when the emergency occurred. I am still in shock myself that I saved this baby’s life so quickly. I am thankful to God for this opportunity to save a life.”


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