Photo Credit: United Hatzalah

The United Hatzalah dispatchers receive an average of 800 calls daily, nearly a quarter of which are considered critical condition. In 2014, United Hatzalah volunteers tended to 245,000 people in times of crisis.

Shalom Tapuach, a certified ambulance driver and medic, has been volunteering in emergency rescue for over 14 years while also working at an American high-tech company in Herzliya. Having attended to countless emergencies, he thinks that being a first responder has tremendous power. “We don’t always have the ability to reverse irreversible situations or conditions but if we can lessen the pain, we are doing some good,” said Tapuach, who moved to Raanana from South Africa 27 years ago. “I was once called to treat an 87-year-old woman who had fainted, fallen and cut her head. When a family member discovered what had occurred and called for an ambulance, possibly hours after the fall, the woman was unconscious and barely breathing,” he recalled “We worked on her for over two hours, using various techniques and equipment to help her regain consciousness. At the hospital, they were able to keep her alive for another two weeks, which gave the family ample time to unite, and say their goodbyes. We gave her a lease on life and gave her a chance to see her family and smile before she passed.”

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This just one of thousands of ways United Hatzalah makes the difference.

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