Last Monday night, United Hatzalah Volunteer EMT Yosef Amir was driving home in Rosh Ha’ayin, east of Tel Aviv, after a long day’s work in a high-tech company, when his communications device alerted him to a nearby emergency on Etrog street, one block from his house. Yosef sped to the given location, arriving there first only a few minutes later. He entered the home of a man he thought was having trouble breathing, which is what the dispatcher had initially said. He was surprised to discover an unconscious and pulseless elderly man, 93, stretched out on a couch.
The man had been suffering from severe pneumonia over the winter, which was causing him breathing difficulties. When felt he couldn’t breathe properly, he called United Hatzalah’s Dispatch and Command Center. A few minutes before Yosef arrived, he had stopped breathing completely and collapsed.
Yosef began checking the man’s vital signs and discovered that his pulse had just recently faded out. He began performing CPR on the unconscious man. Just then a mobile intensive care unit that happened to be in the area arrived to assist Yosef. Together with the ambulance crew, Yosef carried on with the CPR efforts. After multiple rounds of chest compressions, the paramedic asked Yosef to call for backup.
One minute after Yosef had asked for help, United Hatzalah volunteers Avi Nissan and Ido Ashraf arrived at the scene and joined in the CPR efforts, allowing the paramedic to administer medicines to the patient. After 25 minutes, the man’s pulse returned and he was taken to the nearest hospital for further treatment.
After making sure that the patient was stable and on his way to the hospital, Yosef embraced his fellow Rosh Ha’ayin chapter EMTs and continued his drive home.
“I am very busy, but I’m never too busy to respond to a medical emergency. There is always time to save a life,” commented Yosef. “After the man’s pulse returned and his vitals were checked, his pupils did not react to light, and I was afraid that he may have suffered some brain damage and might not make a full recovery. However, we did manage to bring back his pulse, and he was taken to the hospital in stable condition. I feel fulfilled that I did what I could to help give him a fighting chance of survival. I took time from my day to save a life, and even if the patient’s life is not the same after this experience, his life was saved and that’s what counts.”