Ashdod, ISRAEL – Joreh Mehl of Stamford, Connecticut was one of two members an NCSY summer program in Israel who were part of a United Hatzalah ambulance crew who helped save the life of a Ashdod man in throes of an epileptic seizure.
The incident happened on Sunday evening, July 17, when the family of the stricken man, who was unconscious, called emergency services for help. A United Hatzalah ambulance was driving nearby when the emergency alert was received by United Hatzalah’s dispatch and command center. A few minutes later, Mehl, a graduate of Stamford’s Bi-Cultural Hebrew Academy of Connecticut, and Josh Ackerman of Plainview, New York, who had both just completed their EMR training, were on site, responding to their first ever CPR emergency response.
“We were told in training that it would be unlikely that we would need to use the CPR skills that we learned as it is rare that we would come across a person suffering a cardiac arrest,” said Ackerman after the incident. “In the week-and-a-half that we have been on ambulance shifts, this is the first one that I have come across and while the training prepared us for what we had to do, it felt completely different.”
Sali Shimon Yehud, who was driving the ambulance, recounted the incident.
“Together with volunteer first responders from the organization, we arrived just a few moments after the emergency alert went out,” Yehud recalled. “We went up to the apartment together with the mobile intensive care unit that had arrived and worked together to attempt to resuscitate the man who had no pulse and was not breathing. We performed CPR for more than 45 minutes and managed to bring back the man’s pulse several times, but each time it faded away again. Finally, after 45 minutes we brought back a pulse that was stable enough to enable the man to be transported and he was taken in the mobile intensive care ambulance.”
Ackerman, Mehl, and Yehud, as well as the other EMTs in attendance, were then dispatched to another emergency in which a young child was involved in a motor vehicle accident with an ATV. They transported that patient to the hospital and found that the man they had just helped to resuscitate a short time earlier was in the same hospital and that his condition had stabilized.
“It felt great to resuscitate a person and know that we helped save his life,” Ackerman added. “Having my first CPR be a successful one is something that I will never forget. I am glad that I was here to help save this man’s life.”
PHOTO: Joreh Mehl
MAIN PHOTO: Joreh Mehl (2nd from right) with the rest of the Hatzalah team of EMTs who help saved the life of a man from Ashdod.