On Thursday night, a woman in her late 20s was eating dinner when she started choking on her food on Beit Hillel Street in Tiberias. Worried eyewitnesses called emergency services for help.

Yair Nahom, a United Hatzalah volunteer EMT was close by in a Torah class when he received the emergency alert notification. Yair left immediately, jumped on his ambucycle, and rushed to the incident. Upon his arrival, he found the woman unconscious, with no pulse, and with the food still stuck in her mouth. Yair pulled out the food from the woman’s mouth and laid her down on the floor and initiated chest compressions.

He continued to provide the women chest compressions for a long period of time until volunteers arrived to assist. After 10 minutes the woman’s pulse returned. Shortly thereafter, a mobile intensive care ambulance arrived and took the woman to a nearby hospital.

The next day, just after Shabbat began, Yair received another alert to a very similar emergency. He left his home and rushed over to the scene where he found a man lying on the ground unconscious, seemingly having suffered a sudden cardiac arrest. Yair initiated CPR and as other EMTs arrived at the scene worked together with them to resuscitate the man. Once again the team was successful and the man’s pulse returned.

After Shabbat, Yair reflected on both successful CPRs and said, “As an EMT I try to respond to as many emergencies as I can in order to help save lives. It can be exhausting to drop whatever I am doing and continuously respond to emergencies, but at the same time, it gives me a lot of personal strength that flows from a sense of accomplishment. Being able to save lives is a Mitzvah and an honor. It gives great fulfillment but it’s a big responsibility. The greatest thing is when I try to save a person’s life and it seems like the person has already died, I keep trying to resuscitate the individual with everything I’ve got if it’s a defibrillator, my own hands, or even my tzitzit. I use everything I can in order to save another person’s life because that is the greatest achievement one can do in this world.  When I am successful, it is the greatest gift to know that I have helped give someone back their life and it gives me a tremendous sense of fulfillment and relief.’’

To support the lifesaving work of volunteers such as Yair, please click here.