On Monday morning, a disabled woman, 42, lost consciousness and collapsed at a care center near the kibbutz of Ma’aleh HaHamisha, off the Jerusalem–Tel Aviv highway. Medical staff from the center initiated CPR and called emergency services for assistance.
United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Murad Barhom was one of the closest first responders to the incident and was alerted to the emergency. Murad, a Muslim Arab, has lived in Kibbutz Kiryat Anavim for close to 40 years and is no stranger to working together with his Jewish neighbors for a common goal.
Murad rushed to his ATV, which he keeps near his home, and drove the short distance from the Kibbutz to the care facility on dirt paths through fields and forests to reach his destination faster. Three minutes later, he reached the facility and was rushed to the room where the woman had collapsed. Murad had jumped in and took over the compressions from the resident medical staff.
A minute later, he was joined by Ofir Yitzchak and Boaz Armuza, two Jewish volunteers who live in the area and Ofir took over the compressions, relieving Murad who attached Ofir’s defibrillator that delivered three consecutive shocks to the woman, interspersed with continued compressions and assisted ventilation provided by Ofir and Boaz.
A few minutes later, a mobile intensive care ambulance arrived and found that the woman’s pulse had just returned. Murad, Ofir, and Boaz assisted the ambulance team in preparing the woman for transport and getting her onto the ambulance.
“When the ambulance team came they told us that we did a great job and were responsible for bringing her pulse back,” said Murad after the incident. “It is for these types of situations that I joined this organization. I have never thought that I would become an EMT. I don’t enjoy sitting and studying, I enjoy doing things, I enjoy working, and I enjoy helping people. The studying part of the course daunted me, but a few years ago a training course was offered and I told myself that this is the way for me to help those around me. Jews, Arabs, Christians, everyone. I got the studying part done, it was rough, but now I am doing what I love and helping those around me, and there is no greater feeling than that.”