Osnat Reuven, a United Hatzalah volunteer EMT, is unwavering in her commitment to lifesaving and is constantly responding to emergencies. Last Shabbat, a group of children were playing in the family yard when a four-year-old was struck on the head by a hard object.

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UH volunteers responding to a motor vehicle accident (illustration)

The child lost consciousness for a couple of minutes and the alarmed parents called emergency dispatch for help. Being one of the closest responders Osnat was notified about the incident and quickly rushed to the address. In spite of Osnat being close by, another EMT arrived before her. He assured Osnat that her help was not needed and that she could return home, but Osnat’s intuition and her dedication to her patients caused her to stay.

The child, after regaining consciousness, was panicking and refused to speak to the EMT. When he tried to monitor the child he would scream and run to his mother’s arms.

Osnat quickly noticed that the little boy had Down’s Syndrome and realized that this required special treatment. Sitting down on the floor, Osnat began to play with the child, distracting him with toys and funny games. The child, fascinated and entertained, was soon occupied so that Osnat was able to check basic vital signs and assess the child’s level of consciousness.

There was no significant bleeding, but the boy required examination at a hospital to check for a concussion. Osnat continued to play with the toddler until the ambulance arrived. Later that same week, Osnat received a call at 1:30 a.m. regarding a crash between a car and a tractor. Once again, Osnat was not the first responder to arrive and the victims were already being treated. But a feeling in her stomach was telling her that there was more to be done at the scene.

Osnat surveyed the scene and saw that the tractor driver had sustained mild injuries, while the car driver was dazed and disoriented as a result of his head wound. Looking at the car, Osnat noticed that the back window was smashed, although the impact had been from the front side of the car. The accident had occurred on an unlit road, and the area was extremely dark, so Osnat used her flashlight and hurried to examine the car and the surrounding area

A quick search revealed a motionless figure lying in a ditch. It was a two-year-old child. He hadn’t been in a booster seat and had been thrown through the window on impact. Osnat called for the other EMTs as she began to perform a field assessment. The child was unconscious and severely injured after sustaining a significant blow to his head.

The EMTs worked rapidly to administer lifesaving oxygen, immobilize the little boy, and bandage his bleeding wounds. A long twenty minutes later, an intensive care ambulance arrived and the injured child was taken to the trauma center. His injured father and the tractor driver were evacuated to the hospital as well.

When reflecting on both of the incidents Osnat said “You have to be persistent, strong, and listen to your intuition in order to get things done right” Osnat commented. “I didn’t give up on what I thought was right because of what someone else said to me. I listened to my intuition and that enabled me to go home with the feeling of ‘yes. I did it. I helped save a life today.’”

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