On Wednesday morning, just before 11 a.m., Rebecca Yom Tov, a Jerusalemite who volunteers as an EMT in United Hatzalah’s specialized women’s unit, was sitting down with her husband for breakfast in a small town in the Gilboa region. The couple were enjoying a vacation and drinking their morning coffees when Rebbeca’s emergency communications device began to ring, alerting her to a medical emergency nearby. A motor vehicle accident had just occurred on Highway 60, near the entrance of the moshav Gan Ner.

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Rebbecca and Omer at the scene after loading the patient into the ambulance

Rebbeca and her husband immediately ran to their car and sped to the location. As Rebbeca’s husband drove, she quickly changed from her flip-flops that she was wearing to sneakers. Arriving just after United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Omer Ya’akov, Rebbeca jumped out of her car and found a crushed vehicle flipped over on its side. 


After assessing that only one car was involved in the accident, the two EMTs found the victim trapped inside his vehicle. Omer, a secular volunteer from Prazon, a small town just across the highway from Gan Ner, didn’t recognize Rebbeca, but the two acknowledged each other and quickly got to work. 


Rebbeca and Omer began by making sure that the man hadn’t suffered any neck or back injuries and placing a C-collar on him for C-spine stabilization. They then carefully extricated the 30-year-old man from the car from the window facing upwards. After the man was successfully evacuated from the heavily damaged vehicle, the pair of EMTs assessed his condition and searched for any wounds caused by the impact. 


The victim had no severe bleeding, but had an altered level of consciousness, alerting the EMTs to a possible head injury. The man was placed on a backboard and put on an ambulance that had just arrived to transport the man to the nearest hospital.


“It was a bit frightening responding to an emergency in an area that I wasn’t familiar with,” said Rebbeca. “Still, once I saw Omer and he saw me, I felt comfortable and ready to help the victim. I guess this is just one of those things that make United Hatzalah great. An ‘out-of-town’ Charedi woman together with a local secular man drop everything and respond to an emergency together on a relatively secluded stretch of Highway. The cooperation and teamwork led to a successful rescue and proficient treatment, and I’m so honored to be part of such an organization that brings people together to help complete strangers. This is a bridging of worlds for the sake of saving lives.”

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