On Sunday evening, at around 6:00 p.m., in a cafe on Chaim Valero street in Jerusalem, a 67-year-old man suffered a cardiac arrest. 

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Yechiel Gurfein on his electric bicycle

Yechiel Gurfein, a United Hatzalah of Israel volunteer EMT and photographer from Jerusalem, immediately received the notification alerting him to the emergency on his communication device. He hopped on his electric bicycle and arrived there within two minutes. 


Arriving as the first emergency medical service responder at the scene, Yechiel reassured the worried people surrounding the unconscious man and quickly initiated CPR in an attempt to resuscitate the collapsed man and keep his heart going. Yechiel checked for vital signs, found none, attached a defibrillator to the patient, and started performing chest compressions. 


Another United Hatzalah volunteer EMT, Yechiel Stern, was in his home near the location of the incident, having a quiet evening with his wife when he was alerted to the emergency. He rushed to the scene on his electric bicycle and arrived soon after. 


Gurfein and Stern, along with the other volunteer EMTs that arrived to help, performed rounds of chest compressions, delivered assisted ventilation, and performed all other necessary treatments in efforts to bring the man back to life.


In the midst of the resuscitation process, the patient’s wife rushed in, troubled and scared for her husband’s life. Before his sudden collapse, the woman had stepped out for a few minutes to do some shopping in the Shuk and was horrified upon her return to the cafe. A few of the United Hatzalah EMTs noticed the woman on the side and spoke to her, calmly reassuring her that everything that could be done for her husband was being done and that he was receiving the best emergency care possible. Utilizing their training from the Psychotrauma and Crisis Response Unit they treated her and provided her with emotional and psychological stabilization. 


After two shocks from the defibrillator were administered to the still unconscious man, the intensive care ambulance pulled up to the scene and the paramedic jumped out to help. The paramedic administered a dose of adrenaline while the EMTs continued compressions and ventilations. A few minutes later, the patient regained a steady pulse to the relief of everyone at the scene. The CPR had been a success. 


As the man was transferred into the ambulance he once again started to breathe independently. He was then brought directly to Shaare Zedek medical center for further treatment.


Yechiel Stern was happy to see the patient with a strong pulse and said after the incident, “There was a great team effort made between all of the EMTs tonight. We should all just be fortunate enough to continue to save lives.”

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