Tel Aviv - United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Yagel Bar Kama, makes his living as a dog-walker in northern Tel Aviv. Whenever he receives an emergency alert, he drops what he is doing and rushes out to provide emergency medical care to those in need of help.
On Monday, Yagel was presented with a special gift from the family of two young boys whom he helped rescue in separate incidents two weeks apart.
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The first incident took place more than a month ago, when Yagel received an alert that a young boy had sustained a light injury. Yagel rushed to the scene on his ambucycle and found the boy with his foot stuck between a tree and waterpipe. “The boy was trapped in a bunch of bushes and his leg was caught. Thankfully he wasn’t injured badly,” Yagel recounted.
Yagel calmed the boy down and assured him that everything was going to be okay. “I waited with the boy and his father until firefighters arrived in order to extricate his leg without risk of causing injury,” Yagel said.
Two weeks later, Yagel once again received an alert from United Hatzalah’s dispatch center alerting him to a lightly injured boy in his vicinity. “When I arrived at the scene of this emergency, I found that it was also the same family. This time, the boy’s brother had fallen off of a banister and landed on the ground a meter below. He suffered a head injury and was bleeding. I bandaged the wound and did a quick neurological check to see if the boy showed any overt signs of a concussion.”
Yagel continued: “It was stressful for everyone and it took the ambulance more than 20 minutes to arrive, which is understandable with the current stress on the emergency response system and the sheer volume of calls recently in the area. The boy and his father were very worried and thankfully, I was there to provide initial care and calm their nerves. That is exactly why United Hatzalah initiated our first responder program and began using ambucycles so many years ago so that we can provide assistance until an ambulance can arrive.``
When the ambulance arrived the boy was taken to the hospital for further care.
The family tried to contact Yagel and thank him for his assistance during both instances. “It took the family a while to find me, but the family is really terrific and were persistent. Yesterday, I was so surprised to receive a gift of mishloach manot from the family. Seeing the smiles of the two young brothers whom I helped was really moving for me. It helped strengthen for me the importance of responding to every medical emergency, no matter if the issue is life-threatening or not. Every person is a whole world unto themselves, and when someone needs help, it is our duty as people, and my duty as a first responder, to help them.”