On Sunday night a man was found unconscious in his car on Ben-Zvi Street in Tel Aviv. Police responded to the incident and called for emergency medical services to try to resuscitate him.
United Hatzalah volunteer Jennifer Attias, who lives in Moshav Granot, was filming a promotional video in Tel Aviv for the organization’s upcoming gala in New York when she received the emergency alert. She apologized to the film crew and together with EMT Liran Mazkeret raced to the given address on Liran’s ambucycle.
“It was difficult to find the location – the address we received was on the main street but the car with the unconscious man was in an alley nearby. It took us a few minutes to find the car, with the help of the police.”
Liran broke the vehicle’s window with a ResQme car escape tool and the pair of EMTs did a quick assessment of the man’s vital signs. Unfortunately, he didn’t show any. In fact, his body was cold and stiff. When the paramedic arrived a few minutes later he pronounced the man dead and decided there was no need to perform CPR since there was no way to save him.
“We updated the police with an official statement so they could begin their investigation into the circumstances of the man’s death,” said Jennifer. “As we were about to leave, a wave of sadness hit me hard. This was very similar to how my brother was found after he died. He was also alone, and stiffness had set in. It was a few years ago, also in May. I lost him to suicide.”
“I’m not sure what caused the death of this gentleman, but seeing him sitting there alone in his car brought back waves of pain for me from my brother’s death,” jennifer continued. “Even before my brother took his own life I began to dedicate my time to helping others. As an EMT I want to help people, I want to bring them comfort and save them when they are suffering from a medical emergency. Being unable to help this man, just like I was unable to help my brother, really pained me.”
After the incident, Liran and Jennifer went back to filming the video with the camera crew but were interrupted numerous times for other medical emergencies. “We responded to five medical emergencies in less than two hours,” Jennifer said. “In the other instances, we were able to help. There was an unconscious person who thankfully was revived, a man who suffered an injury after he slipped on an oil patch while riding an electric scooter, a person suffering chest pain, a case of violence between two people who both sustained light injuries, and a woman who was confused and was possibly suffering from a stroke. It was a very busy night.”
In each of those five instances, Jennifer and Liran provided expert medical treatment, calmed the patients, andprovided them with the care they needed until the ambulance arrived.
“This is what we do,” said Jennifer. “This is what I want to do. I was very sad that we couldn’t save the man in the car, but I was equally thankful that I was able to help others and offer emergency medical treatment to relieve their suffering and anxiety. I will keep doing this work as long as I can, in memory of my brother and to make sure no other family suffers what I went through with my family when my brother died.”