On Monday afternoon, United Hatzalah’s dispatch center received an emergency call just after 1:00 p.m. regarding a child who was choking. The child was at daycare when he choked on a piece of a cookie that he was eating. United Hatzalah volunteers who worked and lived in the area received the emergency call via their smartphone applications and two-way-radios. Numerous volunteers responded to the call, but the first to arrive at the daycare came in less than a minute and succeeded in extricating the blockage from the child’s windpipe.

Yossi Dvir and Dr. Yishai Ben Uri 1024x576 1
Yossi Dvir together with Doctor Yishai Ben Uri following the call.

Yossi Dvir had been waiting in line for more than half an hour at the post office when the call came in. He was the next number to be called when his United Hatzalah radio alerted him. Dvir jumped up and rushed out the post office, momentarily startling the security guard and the other post office patrons. He slammed his helmet on and roared off on his ambucycle to the address which was close by

On the scene in under 60 seconds, Dvir found a neighbor attempting chest compressions on the 1-year-old baby. In one swift movement, the seasoned medic took the blue little body and performed the Heimlich maneuver, followed by firm black slaps and compressions. After several tense moments, he succeeded in dislodging the piece of cookie that was lodged in the baby’s throat and with a gasp, the baby began to breathe again. Doctor Yishai Ben Uri, who also volunteers with United Hatzalah, had raced out of a nearby clinic to assist in the resuscitation. He quickly examined the baby and told Yosef, “The baby’s fine. You just saved his life.” A few minutes later an ambulance arrived and transported the fully conscious child to the hospital for a check-up while Yosef returned to the post office (and waited another 25 minutes for his turn!)

“This is how our network of volunteer emergency medical servicemen and women works,” explained Eli Beer, Founder and President of United Hatzalah following the incident. “We get the emergency call, we alert the responders who are going about their daily lives, just like Yossi was, and they grab their equipment and go save a life or treat an injured or sick person in need of help. This is exactly why we use volunteers and continue to build our network of volunteers because no one can be faster at responding to an emergency than the person next door. The solution is in building communities of responders within each neighborhood in the country. That way, even if a responder is away or unavailable, his or her fellow responders fill in and answer the call. Helping people as fast as possible is what United Hatzalah volunteers are all about. It is why we use ambucycles and electric bicycles, it is why our volunteers are trained to the highest level and take continual retraining. All in an effort to provide emergency medical services to those closest to them. Their family, their neighbors and their communities.”

To support volunteers like Yossi click here: https://israelrescue.org/donate.php