NCSY Hatzalah Rescue: Training the next generation of emergency responders

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NCSY Hatzalah Rescue participants in Israel receive medallions celebrating their first “lives saved.” Credit: NCSY.

The month-long summer program in Israel throws teens into action, working with paramedics and others to save lives.

(August 1, 2019 / JNS) Sam Blech, 16, and Rivkah Zigman, also 16, both campers on NCSY Hatzalah Rescue, were volunteering as part of their summer program with a United Hatzalah ambulance crew in Tel Aviv. At approximately 7 p.m. on July 16, their ambulance was dispatched to an unresponsive patient in an apartment complex.

NCSY Hatzalah Rescue is a month-long summer program run out of a partnership with the Orthodox Union’s NCSY Summer and United Hatzalah, a volunteer-based emergency medical services organization in Israel. The program includes training teens to serve as Emergency Medical Responders and shifts volunteering with ambulance crews in Israel.

Upon arrival, Blech and Zigman found one of United Hatzalah’s ambucycle responders providing CPR compressions to a 60-year-old female. Zigman immediately applied the AED while Blech took over compressions.

After shocking the patient, Zigman took over compressions while Blech began giving breaths through a BVM device. Working with the EMT teams from United Hatzalah and a paramedic team from Magen David Adom, the patient’s pulse returned, and the paramedics were able to transport the breathing patient with a pulse to the hospital.

Also that day, fellow campers Benjamin Mendelson, 17, and Jaden Jubas, 16, were volunteering with a United Hatzalah ambulance crew in Bat Yam.

Shortly after 2 p.m., their ambulance was dispatched to a call for a semi-responsive patient. While en route, the call was upgraded to a “CPR in progress.”

Upon arrival, the team found multiple United Hatzalah ambucycle responders providing CPR to an 80-year-old male.

Both teens immediately joined the compression rotation, working with EMTs from United Hatzalah and a paramedic team from Magen David Adom, regaining and losing the patient’s pulse twice before it was finally returned, and the paramedics could get the patient to the hospital.

A ceremony later took place where the teens were celebrated for their efforts.

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