Photo Credit: United Hatzalah
The Scene of the rescue in Kibbutz Gat, June 15, 2021.

Ehud Yardeni lives in Kiryat Gat and works as a section manager at a factory that makes juices in nearby Kibbutz Gat (3,000 years ago, the area was the site of the Philistine city of Gat). Ehud also volunteers as a United Hatzalah EMT. After 10 AM Tuesday, he received an alert that a little further down in the industrial area, an Arab worker had been electrocuted and was unconscious.

Ehud dropped what he was doing, grabbed the factory’s defibrillator, and rushed over to the scene of the collapsed man. Arriving in less than two minutes, he found the worker lying in a puddle of water near an electrical box with a strong smell of smoke in the air. “Seeing as the electric box had shut off due to the emergency breaker having been triggered, I pulled the worker out of the puddle of water and then quickly attached the defibrillator, which did not advise a shock, and initiated CPR.”

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Performing chest compressions, Ehud instructed the other workers to bring a medical kit from their factory. He then showed them how to connect the oxygen to the mask and place it on the patient’s face. Just then, another United Hatzalah volunteer EMT, Shalom Belchamo, arrived at the scene and took over compressions as Ehud switched to ventilating the patient.

“We worked together for a few minutes, and during the entire time, the defibrillator kept instructing us to continue CPR but did not advise a shock,” Ehud recalled.

A few minutes after Shalom’s arrival, the mobile intensive care ambulance arrived as well and its team joined the effort to resuscitate the electrocuted man. Finally, 20 minutes after Ehud had arrived, a shock was delivered to the man from the heart monitor. A few minutes after that the man’s pulse finally returned and he was transported to Barzilai hospital in Ashkelon while still undergoing assisted ventilation.

“This isn’t the first time I’ve been called away from work to save someone’s life,” Ehud said. “I try not to think about the medical emergencies while I’m at work, whether they end positively like this one, or not. If I do think about it, I won’t be able to get any work done, so it’s better to simply put it out of my mind until a later time when I can process it. In the meantime, I keep going through my day so that I can get my work done. Having said that, saving lives is an amazing thing and I am very thankful that I am a part of this organization and family.”

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David writes news at JewishPress.com.