Photo Credit: United Hatzalah
The visiting American teens take a selfie with the United Hatzalah ambulance team, July 17, 2022.

On Sunday evening, a man suffered a prolonged epileptic seizure in his home in Ashdod, causing him to lose consciousness. Worried family members called emergency services for help.

Two members of the summer program NCSY Hatzalah Rescue were on board a United Hatzalah ambulance that was driving nearby when the emergency alert was received by the United Hatzalah dispatch and command center. The ambulance was quickly rerouted to the location of the emergency and arrived a few minutes later. Jori Mehl from Stamford, Connecticut, and Josh Ackerman from Plainview, New York, were about to embark on their first ever CPR emergency response, having just finished their training to become EMRs a week and a half ago.

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“We were told in training that it would be unlikely that we would need to use the CPR skills that we learned as it is rare that we would come across a person suffering a cardiac arrest,” Ackerman said after the incident. “In the week-and-a-half that we have been on ambulance shifts, this is the first one I came across such an incident, and even though the training prepared us for what we had to do, it felt completely different.”

Sali Shimon Yehud, who was driving the ambulance, said, “Together with volunteer first responders from the organization, we arrived just a few moments after the emergency alert went out. We went up to the apartment together with the mobile intensive care unit that had arrived and worked together to attempt to resuscitate the man who had no pulse and was not breathing. We performed CPR for more than 45 minutes and managed to bring back the man’s pulse several times, but each time it faded away again. Finally, after 45 minutes we brought back a pulse that was stable enough to enable the man to be transported and he was taken in the mobile intensive care ambulance.”

Ackerman, Mehl, and Yehud, as well as the other EMTs who were accompanying them, were then dispatched to another emergency in which a child was involved in a motor vehicle accident with an ATV. They transported the young patient to the hospital and discovered that the man they had just resuscitated a short time earlier was in the same hospital and that his condition had stabilized.

“It felt great to resuscitate a person and know that we helped save his life,” Ackerman said. “Having my first successful CPR is something I will never forget..”

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