Ashdod residents Yogev Ben-Yehuda, 30, and his wife Noa, 22, have served as United Hatzalah volunteer EMTs since they met a year-and-a-half-ago. Noa volunteers as a paramedic and Yogev as an ambulance driver. The two have responded to many medical emergencies on their own and together, and recently they have been saving lives in the national campaign to vaccinate their neighbors as quickly as possible.
The couple has joined hundreds of other United Hatzalah volunteers and other trained medical personnel to vaccinate Israeli citizens at regional vaccination centers throughout the country. During the first phase of the drive, the couple vaccinated hundreds of elderly patients and other at-risk citizens as well as their fellow first responders. Now, during the second wave of the drive, Yogev and Noa are vaccinating teachers and those over the age of 50 in the Ashdod area. The couple works in unison and can often be seen vaccinating people side-by-side.
When a frightened patient arrives at the vaccination center, Noa and Yogev work together to reassure them and provide the easiest and most efficient experience.
“Many patients have asked me how I work so well together with my husband,” said Noa. “I explain that my husband and I have been volunteering for so long, it has become a part of us and defines who we are as individuals and as a couple. I tell them that I couldn’t have asked for a better partner.”
Working side by side from 8 AM until the late evening hours, Noa and Yogev have vaccinated more than a thousand people each. One recent night, after returning from a shift at the vaccination center, the couple received a call from United Hatzalah’s Dispatch and Command Center alerting them to an emergency nearby. They got back in the car and raced to the scene with their medical kits.
Yogev said: “For Noa and me, it’s considered taking a break when we volunteer to vaccinate people. We are fairly young and are used to the rush of adrenaline associated with a medical emergency. There’s no adrenaline rush when we vaccinate people—it’s a precise procedure, but we still enjoy it just as much because we know we’re helping people and hopefully putting an end to the coronavirus. We both have a passion for volunteering and providing any type of medical aid to people who need it, so when people ask what it’s like to have a spouse with the same passion as me, I tell them with a smile that it’s the greatest feeling of all.”