On Monday morning, a woman in her early 40s choked in her home in Rosh Haayin. Worried family members called emergency services for help. United Hatzalah’s Dispatch and Command Center received the alert and dispatched the closest first responders to the scene.

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United Hatzalah ambulance (illustration)

Shmuel Barbar, a United Hatzalah volunteer EMT, was in the middle of a work meeting in his office nearby when he received the alert. In spite of the importance of the meeting and the pressure from his co-workers to finish, Shmuel politely excused himself and rushed out of the meeting to respond to the emergency.

Arriving as the first medical responder at the scene, Shmuel found the woman laying unconscious and after checking her vital signs and finding no pulse, he launched into chest compressions pausing only to attach the defibrillator. Shmuel continued with compressions until the defibrillator advised a shock. After he administered the shock, other volunteers began to arrive and assist in the CPR efforts. United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Neria Hajbi was one of them.

Neria was eating lunch with another EMT volunteer when they both received the alert. Packing away their food, both volunteers immediately rushed over to assist. Neria got on his ambucycle while the other volunteer drove an ambulance to the location. They arrived together with a team from the mobile intensive care ambulance and they all joined Shmuel in his efforts to save the woman’s life.

Together the team continued with compressions and began providing the woman with assisted ventilation. After a short while, the woman’s pulse returned. Neria checked the woman’s vital signs and attached a heart monitor while a paramedic from the mobile intensive care ambulance opened an intravenous line to administer medications. The woman was put on a stretcher and transferred to the intensive care ambulance to be taken to the hospital with a pulse.

After the incident Shmuel relayed; ‘’This isn’t my first time performing CPR, I’ve been through many successful CPRs and many unsuccessful ones. Regardless of what the case may be, I work together with the other responders at the scene in order to make sure the person will survive, which is the most important part. We all work together to help people live through these emergencies. That is my job as an EMT, saving people’s lives, and I am proud to do it.’’

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