Last Friday night, at 7:47 pm, United Hatzalah volunteer EMT and ambucycle driver Zvi Horowitz received an alert from United Hatzalah’s dispatch and command center alerting him to a person who had just lost consciousness near Zvi’s home in Hadera.

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A United Hatzalah first responder riding on an ambucycle (illustration)

The dedicated medic dashed out to his ambucycle and sped along the roads to quickly arrive at the address. A 60-year-old cancer patient with an implanted pacemaker had suffered a massive heart attack. Zvi joined a United Hatzalah paramedic and additional United Hatzalah EMTs in the resuscitation effort. The team worked together to perform chest compressions, administer artificial respirations and provide cardiac drugs. After a few minutes, they were joined by an intensive care ambulance crew. Three shocks were delivered from a defibrillator. The man’s pulse returned and faded several times until the medics managed to regain steady cardiac activity. The patient was then transported to the hospital alive and in stable (albeit serious) condition.

It was just after 8:30 p.m. when the CPR ended and Zvi and his team were wrapping up their gear. Zvi was looking forward to heading home to his wife and family. Just then, at 8:33 pm, Zvi received another alert from the dispatch alerting him to a second CPR call in his vicinity. Zvi immediately raced to the address on his ambucycle, arriving within one minute.

A frantic woman directed the volunteer EMT to her 69-year-old husband. The man had complained of severe chest pain and difficulty breathing before suddenly collapsing to the floor. Zvi found the man pulseless and foaming at the mouth. Apparently, complications of pneumonia had caused his collapse. Zvi began his second CPR in less than an hour, working with additional EMS personnel who began to arrive, Zvi worked intensely to keep oxygenated blood circulating to the man’s vital organs. After several rounds of compressions and the administration of medications, a steady pulse returned and the man was urgently evacuated to the hospital for further emergency care.

After the calls, Horowitz said: “In cases of cardiac arrest, time is a key factor in success rates and greatly affect how much brain damage, if any, took place. I am thankful that I was able to help two people this evening. These people will continue to live and that is two fewer tragedies, two fewer broken families, and two more people who can enjoy their lives.”