This past Monday, a medical emergency took place in Haifa that ended with an interesting twist. United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Raphael Israel was on his way to his Mechanical engineering class at the Technion University when he received an emergency alert from the organization’s dispatch center that notified him about a medical emergency occurring at his son’s kindergarten.

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Raphael Israel outside of the Kindergarten where the incident took place

Raphael rushed over and was the first responder at the scene. He found one of the two kindergarten teachers lying down in a room by herself complaining that she wasn’t feeling well. The second teacher had already ushered the children out of the room so that Raphael could treat the ill woman.

The experienced EMT quickly took the woman’s vital signs and discovered that she had high blood pressure. He treated her for her condition and stayed with her until the ambulance arrived some ten minutes later. As the ambulance drove away, Raphael looked around and saw the remaining teacher overburdened with maintaining calm among her 25 charges. Raphael asked her when a replacement for the first teacher would arrive.

The remaining teacher called the offices of the daycare and asked that a replacement teacher be sent. They said it would take about an hour for her to arrive. Hearing this, Raphael realized his job was not over.

“There was nothing else to do but offer a helping hand. I couldn’t leave the teacher alone by herself with 25 children to look after. I took off my vest and went into the daycare and began to play with the children,” Raphael said during an interview sometime later. “I missed the class I was supposed to be at, but I’ll make it up. Taking care of these children was something that was far more important.”

Raphael described the experience of switching from EMT to a kindergarten teacher. “We played tag, color tag, sang together and had a great time. I forgot how to play some of these games and the children reminded me. It brought a smile to their faces and to mine. Everyone called me Gavriel’s father…. It was a special day.”

While it was plenty of fun, Raphael also said that it was hard work. “I doff my cap to any kindergarten teacher. I learned that their work is very intense and that running around after 25 children is not so simple. Even though it was tiring, it was also very inspiring. The whole situation exemplified the work of helping others when they need it. Not only did I get to help someone who was sick, but I also lent a hand to care for all these wonderful children and to got to play with them.”

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