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First EMS Course Given in Sign Language in Israel
After becoming the first deaf EMT in Israel, Nechama Loebel has once again broken barriers for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community in Israel by instructing the first EMS course in sign language. Loebel, who recently graduated from both a Psychotrauma and Crisis Response course as well as an EMS instructors course, is certified to instruct basic CPR and EMS classes. She wasted no time in organizing the first ever EMS course in sign language for fellow members of the deaf and hard of hearing community in Israel.
“It is my dream to be able to take this lifesaving information and pay it forward to other members of the deaf and hard of hearing community in Israel,” said Loebel, who only a few weeks prior completed her instructors course.
The course took place in the community clubhouse for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Ashdod. United Hatzalah offers family safety courses that are comprised of basic EMS skills including CPR and proper procedures for treating common injuries such as burns, choking, light wounds and broken bones. As part of the network of courses which are offered across the country, Nechama felt that it was important to offer these classes to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community in their own language. “The goal is to provide as many people as we can with the basic tools they need to save a life in an emergency. There is no reason that the Deaf community should be excluded from that,” said Loebel. “I am ecstatic that I am able to help provide this service for others who live with the same challenges that I face so that they too will be able to save lives.”
The course was overseen by Yechiel Cohen who serves as the local chapter head for the organization in Ashdod. Nechama, translated the information into sign language simultaneously to Yechiel’s instruction.
“Nechama has been a treasure to our organization,” said United Hatzalah President and Founder Eli Beer. “Not only is she an active volunteer who has saved many lives and helped other volunteers in the field communicate with patients who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing, but she has been an inspiration to us all and challenges us to continue to expand our horizons and include people from all walks of life and all populations in Israel. She is always active and always looking for new ways to reach out to members of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community in Israel. I have no doubt that she will continue to be an inspiration to us all for many years to come.”