On Tuesday morning, a man in his 50s collapsed at a bus stop at the Trifrach Junction on Highway 25. Quick-thinking passersby sprang into action, promptly alerting emergency services.
United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Rafi Freed happened to be driving nearby for work when he was alerted to the emergency by the organization’s Dispatch and Command Center. Without hesitation, he raced to the scene, arriving just 30 seconds later. A small crowd had already gathered and was desperately attempting to revive the collapsed man. The EMT took charge of the situation and attached his defibrillator. The device recommended administering a shock, and once he made sure that no one was touching the collapsed man, Rafi administered the shock and then continued CPR protocol.
The rescue effort continued with two more rounds of chest compressions and assisted ventilations, and once again, the defibrillator advised delivering another shock, which was promptly delivered. The tireless efforts of the EMT and the additional first responders who had joined him on the scene held steadfast, as they fought against the ticking clock to save the man’s life.
After an additional five minutes of relentless CPR, an intensive care ambulance arrived at the bus stop, reinforcing the rescue team’s efforts with advanced life support measures. Five additional shocks were administered. Following the fifth shock, the man’s pulse was successfully restored in a steady fashion, sending a wave of relief throughout the gathered crowd and first responders, but the danger wasn’t over yet, as the man still needed further treatment to ensure that his pulse did not disappear once more. The patient, now stable, was transported to the nearest hospital for further treatment in the hopes that he would make a full recovery.
Reflecting on the incident later in the day, Freed said, “Every emergency I respond to is important, and I take great satisfaction in assisting people, regardless of the circumstances. However, witnessing CPR efforts result in a person being transported with a steady pulse is undeniably an incredibly powerful experience. It’s like a competition with the Angel of Death—who will emerge victorious. Thankfully, today, we were.”
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