Photo Credit: United Hatzalah
United Hatzalah volunteers respond to a medical emergency at night (archive).

On Monday evening, a man was sitting comfortably on the porch of his home on HaDror Street in Netanya with his eighty-year-old mother enjoying the early morning breeze coming off of the coast. After a long day’s work and punishing heat, a night shared with loved ones outdoors is sometimes the best way to wind down. However, the tranquil evening was abruptly disrupted when the woman began to feel an uncomfortable sensation building up in her chest. As the sensation intensified, the woman and her son headed indoors so that she could rest.

Around 2:00 AM Tuesday, the elderly woman suddenly lost consciousness and became unresponsive. Her panicked son desperately called emergency medical services for help.


United Hatzalah’s Dispatch and Command center sent an urgent alert to Rabbi Ya’akov Cohen, an EMT with the organization who was identified as being the closest emergency medical service volunteer to the address.

Despite being fast asleep, upon receiving the call Rabbi Cohen sprung out of bed and managed to get to the scene on his ambucycle only a few minutes later. As one of the first on the scene, he began to perform CPR on the unconscious woman. He was later joined by a crew from a mobile intensive care ambulance and together they labored to resuscitate the woman.

Thankfully, after administering two electrical shocks from a defibrillator and performing a few concentrated rounds of chest compressions and assisted ventilation, the elderly woman’s pulse returned and began to regain strength. The combined team proceeded to swiftly transfer her to the ambulance so that she could be taken to Laniado Hospital for further medical care.

“As a volunteer EMT, being woken up in the middle of the night to go out and save a life is nothing new to me,” Rabbi Cohen said. “Helping others is a value that’s truly important to me. I am thankful that I was able to be there to help, and part of the team that brought this woman’s pulse back to give her a new lease on life.”


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