Last Sunday night, United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Avi Koritz was in his store in the Geulah neighborhood of Jerusalem, preparing to close shop, when a stranger came running in yelling hysterically. The man was holding his bleeding abdomen and shouting that he had been stabbed. Avi immediately called United Hatzalah’s Dispatch and Command Center requesting backup.
The man, 24, was confused and hyperventilating as he tried explaining what had happened. Avi calmed him down and explained that he was going to help. He started by bandaging the wound, applying pressure to stop the hemorrhaging.
Avi then noticed that the man had additional stab wounds in both his hands, which were bleeding profusely. Additional EMTs and medical personnel began arriving at the scene to assist in the serious stab injury.
“In a matter of minutes, my storefront had turned into a scene that could be mistaken for a mass casualty incident,” Avi recalled. “I couldn’t count the number of EMTs that arrived at the scene in just a few minutes. Soon after, many ambulances and police officers arrived. Some EMTs even stayed behind to help clean the staircase from the blood.”
Avi briefed the paramedic from the mobile intensive care ambulance and the patient was quickly taken to the nearest hospital for further treatment and observation.
“I recognized the man, he works a few blocks down from my store,” said Avi. “I’m not sure if he came to me knowing that I am an EMT, or just because my store was open late, but regardless of the reason, he was lucky he came to me. He was so anxious and breathing so rapidly that it may have worsened his wounds. I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time and able to treat the man before his wounds became life-threatening.”