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Providing Better Care For My Patients By Befriending Fellow First Responders
Yitzhak Sheinberg, a United Hatzalah volunteer from Haifa, works as a nurse’s assistant for a local health clinic. He is married and has two children. Since the summer, Yitzhak has also been working as a Covid-19 test-taker and has been recognized as the medical technician who has collected more samples than anyone else in the country.
Towards the beginning of December, early one afternoon on HaHalutz Street in Haifa’s Hadar HaCarmel neighborhood, a 45-year-old man was struck by a speeding E-bike. The pedestrian was violently knocked headfirst to the ground, sustaining severe traumatic injuries. Horrified passersby called for help and notified United Hatzalah dispatchers who instantaneously identified Yitzchak as the closest available medic and notified him of the incident.
Yitzchak was just getting home from conducting a series of Corona tests and upon receiving the alert, immediately set off towards the scene on his United Hatzalah E-bike, agilely racing through pedestrian-clogged narrow streets towards the victim’s location.
Yitzchak and an additional EMT, also an electric bicycle rider from the organization who Yitzchak knows well, arrived at the scene and found the victim lying unconscious on the ground. The skilled EMT saw that the man had suffered a severe head injury as well as an injury to his abdomen and was having difficulty breathing. Yitzchak took vital signs and tended to the head wound and administered oxygen to improve the victim’s breathing, while the other EMT bandaged the bleeding injuries from the man’s limbs. An ambulance crew arrived a few minutes later, sedating and intubating the patient before evacuation to a nearby hospital.
Yitzchak spoke about the special bond that has been created among the United Hatzalah volunteers in Haifa. “I’ve been volunteering with United Hatzalah for the past three-and-half-years, and it has changed my life for the better. In addition to the terrific feeling of satisfaction I get whenever I help other people, I have received a new family. My wife and I had very few friends here in Haifa before I began to volunteer. Now we have an entire team of friends, both the EMTs who work with me, and their spouses, who have befriended both me and my wife. It is terrific. Last Shabbat we had 11 couples from all different backgrounds and segments of Israeli society over in our backyard, all of whom have at least one member of the couple who volunteers at United Hatzalah. We have become close friends, and that of course helps us communicate better and faster in the field so that we can more quickly assist those who need our help. I work in Meuchedet, one of the health maintenance organizations in Israel, and I have never before seen a close-knit group of medical workers and first responders as exist here in United Hatzalah. It is truly remarkable to be a part of this family.”
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