On Wednesday in Nahariya, at around 8:00 p.m., a 50-year-old man was performing his intense exercise regimen in a local gym when he suffered a sudden cardiac arrest and collapsed. His fellow gym mates stopped their respective workouts, rushed to offer assistance, and called emergency services for help.

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United Hatzalah volunteers bring a “patient” to the Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya during a recent cooperative training drill.

Zaid Ihab, a United Hatzalah volunteer EMT, was located on the same street as the gym where the emergency occurred and was pinged as the closest responder to the scene. When his communication device automatically alerted him to the crisis at the gym, Zaid mounted his ambucycle and rushed over to the gym, arriving less than a minute later.


Zaid grabbed his medical kit and defibrillator and raced inside the gym. After a quick assessment, Zaid found that the patient was without a pulse and not breathing. The experienced EMT immediately started performing chest compressions, during which a man came over to him and introduced himself as a nurse. The nurse asked Zaid if there was anything he could do to help. Zaid asked the nurse to take over the compressions for him so he could take out the defibrillator from his medical kit and connect it to the patient. 


As soon as the defibrillator was attached, it assessed the patient and recommended delivering a shock. Zaid delivered the shock, and the EMT and nurse duo continued with their resuscitative efforts alternating between compressions and providing assisted ventilation. After only five minutes, the patient’s pulse returned, and he started to breathe independently.

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Zaid Ihab

Two minutes after the man regained his breathing, additional first responders arrived, and the man regained consciousness and was able to speak a little. 


The patient was transported to the Galilee Medical Center for further examination, treatment, and recovery.


After the incident, Zaid said, “It was a big honor for me when the head of the operations, a chief paramedic, thanked me for my quick response and treatment and applauded me for my work. The paramedic was really impressed and said that all that was left for him and the team to do when they arrived was connect a heart monitor and open an IV line. I think we did a great job together as a team.”


Zaid, a resident of Kfar Mazra’a has been working as an assistant staffer in the Galilee Medical Center for the past 24 years. He asked his co-workers in the hospital to update him with regard to the man’s well-being. After a phone call with one of the nurses in the center, Zaid said, “Yoni called me and told me that the patient is in stable condition in the trauma center. I was so happy to hear that the patient was doing well and recovering. He said that I did a great job which made me really proud. You have no clue how good it feels to have helped someone and given him another chance at life. All I can say is that it is always nice to be on the giving side instead of the side of receiving. With the help of G-d, may we only hear good news in the future.”

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