At 7:30 AM Monday, a man collapsed on the street in Moshav Bnei Yehuda in the Golan Heights. An eye-witness ran up to a nearby home to alert a local resident who is a paramedic, and the paramedic rushed over to the collapsed man while requesting backup on a local emergency channel from any first responders nearby.
United Hatzalah volunteers Alber Anconina, Ruth Hadassi, Ohad Ringer, and Dekel Shem Tov were each going about their daily routines when they received the alert.
Alber, a farmer from Ramat Hamagshimim, who during the slow-season spends his time vaccinating residents against the coronavirus in numerous cities in the Golan and Galilee, was driving when he received the alert. He turned around and drove the five kilometers to the nearby Moshav and joined the paramedic. He took over performing chest compressions as the paramedic began preparing medications and his laryngoscope for intubation.
Dekel Shem Tov who lives in nearby Meitzar was on his way to work and rushed over when he got the alert. Ohad Ringer, a resident of Bnei Yehuda, had already left the town and was on his way to work, when he, too, received the alert and quickly turned around and rushed back to help. Ruth Hadassi lives in the town of Kenaf and was just passing the nearby Afik interchange on Highway 98 when she received the alert. She turned onto the local road to Bnei Yehuda and rushed to the scene.
As each volunteer arrived and joined the CPR effort, Alber instructed them what to do. “We all took turns performing compressions and assisting with ventilation,” Alber related. “As each responder arrived they joined the effort seamlessly.”
An ambulance arrived a few minutes later and its team also joined in performing CPR. The CPR lasted for 50 minutes during which there was doubt whether the patient would survive. “We managed to bring his pulse back but lost it a few times. When it did return, it was very weak. For a time we weren’t sure if he was going to make it, but we did everything we could to try to save his life,” said Alber.
“An active CPR in the field takes a lot of hands and a lot of teamwork,” Ruth explained. “All of the people there, the paramedic, the ambulance team, and the first responders from United Hatzalah, worked hand-in-hand together and it is because of that teamwork that we succeeded at bringing the man’s pulse back.”
“This wasn’t my first time performing CPR,” said Ruth, who has been volunteering with United Hatzalah for the past three years. “I have performed CPR in the hospital while I was volunteering as part of United Hatzalah’s emergency room and hospital assistance project. This was my first time bringing back a pulse in the field, and it gave me a sense of pride.”
After 50 minutes of intense CPR, the team succeeded at bringing the man’s pulse back—it was weak but stable. He was moved into the ambulance and transported to the hospital.
“The man’s pulse was weak and we are waiting to see whether or not he will survive,” Alber said. “We did what we could and brought back his pulse and gave him a fighting chance. Beyond that, only God knows what the future will bring. But that is our job to help those in need when they need it and do the best we can, together, to save lives.”