Photo Credit: United Hatzalah
United Hatzalah vehicles responding to an emergency (archive).

Sunday, at 2:30 AM, three United Hatzalah volunteers were finishing an ambulance shift. The driver, Niv Bohbot, had just dropped off his fellow EMTs Lior Tzubari and Elad Mimran outside their homes in Moshav Kadima-Zoran outside Netanya when he received a phone call from an EMT friend who explained he was in the midst of a medical emergency, performing CPR with his mobile intensive care ambulance and staff, and in desperate need of backup.

Niv quickly called Lior and Elad and the three rushed over to the given location. Upon arrival, they discovered a 49-year-old man who looked to weigh around 330 pounds, unconscious on the floor. A paramedic, a driver, and Niv’s friend were already performing CPR. As the three United Hatzalah volunteers arrived, the mobile intensive care team expressed great relief.

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As the volunteers from United Hatzalah took over compressions from the exhausted ICU team, the six medical personnel began working in synchronization and carried on performing CPR on the man for ten minutes, switching between rounds of chest compressions, assisted ventilation, and medicines administered by the paramedic. A defibrillator was attached but it did not advise a shock, and so the volunteers continued with compressions and ventilation in a desperate attempt to save the man’s life.

At around 2:45 AM, the team was successful in bringing back the man’s pulse and stabilizing his condition. After making sure the man was stable, the six volunteers had a new task at hand; they had to carry the heavy man down three flights of stairs, in a narrow staircase and hallway before they could get him into the ambulance that was waiting outside.

It took some time but the team eventually transferred the man safely and he was soon on his way to the nearest hospital for further care. After they had cleaned up the living room of all the medical supplies that were strewn about, Niv drove Lior and Elad home again, the three of them finally ending their ambulance shift.

“I can’t help but think of how my friend called me on his phone directly, and how it changed the course of the night,” said Niv. “I was just dropping Lior and Elad off at their homes. If the mobile intensive care team were to call dispatch, they would have to then reach me, and I would have to go back and pick them back up, a process that could delay our arrival, and possibly affect the outcome of the CPR. The three couldn’t do the full CPR alone, they needed our help, and all because of that phone call, we were able to save his life. It was a great way to end a shift and start the week.”

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