Yitzchak Hoffman immigrated from Belgium to Israel. He moved to the city of Ashdod and began his family. 20 years ago, Yitzchak trained to become one of the first volunteer EMTs in his area of Ashdod. When asked why he decided to voluntarily give of himself and his time to help others whom he has never met before Yitzchak responded and said: “When I moved here, there weren’t any other volunteer EMTs in my neighborhood or community. I took it upon myself to be the rescuer for our area where no one else was.” 

Now, 20-years and eight children later, Yitzchak is still rushing out on his ambucycle to all types of medical emergencies whenever they occur in his vicinity. Just recently, Yitzchak was involved in a critical rescue. Yitzchak was on business in Ramat Gan, when he received an alert to a major car accident that had taken place nearby. Two vehicles had collided and one of the cars was flung across the lane, striking an electric-bicycle rider. Without hesitation, Yitzchak rushed to his ambucycle and raced to the scene. He arrived just a few minutes later alongside a fellow United Hatzalah ambucycle EMT, and the duo quickly surveyed the scene.

The female electric-bicycle rider had sustained multiple injuries in the crash. She had been the least protected person in the accident and sustained serious injuries including possible injuries to her spinal cord. Yitzchak and his colleague carefully affixed a neck brace, bandaged her wounds, and assessed the patient. The took a full set of vitals and checked for signs of internal injury. 

Meanwhile, additional arriving EMS personnel assessed the drivers and passengers inside the vehicles, all of whom had sustained less severe injuries. Yitzchak continued to treat his patient and very soon a United Hatzalah intensive care ambulance arrived at the scene to transport the patient to the hospital. The patient was placed inside and the crew, consisting of a doctor and paramedic, provided advanced treatment en route to the trauma center.

United Hatzalah and its volunteers are responding to the current pandemic and resultant public health crisis cautiously but with increased activity. With COVID-19 cases still rising dramatically worldwide, our volunteer medics continue to put themselves on the line in Israel to provide emergency medical care to anyone in need. 

“It is amazing to me to see just how many need help,” Yitzchak said. “Before I became a volunteer I wasn’t aware of many of the emergencies that take place around me all the time. People simply aren’t aware of all the need that is constantly around them. I am thankful to United Hatzalah for helping me help many people who required it in my own community.” 

© 2020 American Jewish Congress.