Photo Credit: United Hatzalah
United Hatzalah volunteers help a patient into an ambulance in Gush Dan (Illustration).

On Sunday, just before 10 PM, a man in his 30s was jogging down HaKnesset Street in Givatayim when he suffered a sudden cardiac arrest and collapsed on the pavement. Worried onlookers who witnessed the collapse began performing CPR and called emergency services for help.

United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Dan Gildoni was relaxing at home only 80 meters away when he received the emergency alert. He rushed downstairs, jumped on his ambucycle, and raced to the scene. When he arrived he attached a defibrillator and took over compressions. A few seconds later the defibrillator finished analyzing the patient and recommended a shock. Dan administered the shock and then launched into another round of compressions. The situation repeated and Dan administered a second shock. After the third round of compressions, other responders began to arrive.


A mobile intensive care ambulance arrived and the paramedic administered some medication and attached the man to a heart monitor. Shortly thereafter, the man’s pulse returned. Dan helped the ambulance crew load the patient onboard the ambulance to be transported to the hospital.

“I only began the process of helping to save this man’s life,” Dan said later. “I don’t know what the outcome will be, but his situation is a lot better now than when I found him. We managed to bring back his pulse and get him breathing again, but he still has a long way to go to make a full recovery, and I wish him a full recovery because that’s the goal of what we do, we want to save people and have them go back to their families and their lives.”

Givatayim, population 61,000, is part of Israel’s densest metropolitan area known as Gush Dan. Named after the two hills on which it stands, Borochov Hill and Kozlovsky Hill (Giv’ah in Hebrew is Hill, Givatayim – two hills), Givatayim was established in 1922 by pioneers of the Second Aliyah. Earlier, in 1917, Kozlovsky Hill saw a bloody battle between the British and Othman armies.

Givatayim is Sister Cities with Chattanooga, Tennessee (possibly because both city and state have so many double-letters – DI).


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