On Wednesday night, at 9:45 p.m., United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Eric Barel was in his home in Carmiel when he was alerted to a nearby emergency. A few houses down from Eric’s house, a 60-year-old man lost consciousness in his home. Eric immediately jumped on his ambucycle and rushed over to his neighbor’s house. 

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A UH volunteer on an ambucycle responding to an emergency at night (Iluustration)

As he swerved through the street aboard his ambucycle, Eric could not locate the address from the main road. As he turned into an alleyway, Eric noticed a small entrance to a building and informed United Hatzalah’s Dispatch and Command Center that he had arrived.


Upon arrival, Eric found a woman attempting chest compressions on her unconscious husband. The pulseless 60-year-old was leaning on a pile of pillows, making her compressions ineffective. Eric identified himself to the woman, informing her that he was an EMT and he was going to take over. The relieved wife stepped away and allowed Eric to check the man’s vital signs, just as an additional EMT walked in.


After assessing that the man was in cardiac arrest after suffering a heart attack, the two EMTs began CPR. The second EMT began compressions as Eric attached his defibrillator. The defibrillator did not advise a shock, and so Eric positioned himself next to the patient’s head and began assisted ventilations.


After a few minutes of CPR, Eric’s defibrillator detected a heart rhythm and advised a shock. Just as the shock was administered, a mobile intensive care ambulance arrived at the scene. The paramedic from the ambulance assessed the man’s pulse and informed Eric and the EMT that they had successfully returned the man’s pulse. 


After a quick briefing, the paramedic administered medicines and prepped the patient for transport. The crew attached the patient to oxygen and continued supplying oxygen en route to the hospital. 


“I had a chance to visit the family on Thursday afternoon, unfortunately, the wife informed me that the patient had passed,“ said Eric. “I spoke to the wife for a while and she explained to me how the medical staff was able to stabilize his condition and that he was improving. When she got in the car to visit him she was informed that his situation had worsened. Keeping in touch with the family of a patient can sometimes mean a great deal toward the family’s acceptance of the situation. The wife thanked me for arriving when I did and giving her husband the best chance at life that he could have had. By returning the man’s pulse I had given her a few more moments to say goodbye.”

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