Yaakov works as computer technician for the Israel Ministry of Education as well as a paramedic in an urgent care clinic. He lives with his wife and 5 children in Jerusalem and has been volunteering for United Hatzalah since the organization’s inception. This unique volunteer was born into lifesaving. His father was a doctor who was a living example of what it means to be dedicated to saving lives. As a young boy, Yaakov would accompany his father on various emergency calls, participating in the treatment and general help to the patients, as much as he could. It was only natural that at the earliest age permissible by law, Yaakov officially began volunteering as a medical emergency responder. Today, with close to 40 years of experience under his belt, Yaakov is one of the pillars of the United Hatzalah Jerusalem branch and a role model in his neighborhood of Har Nof. It was of course, to no one’s surprise that he was one of the first volunteers on scene and in fact injured in the line of duty, during the tragic Har Nof synagogue terror attack. His children have received the same education as he received from his father, putting the needs of others first and living for the community at large.
One cannot possibly count the emergency calls that Yaakov has responded to over the years. One call, however, really stands out in his mind.
One day, Yaakov’s neighbor requested that his two young sons be allowed to participate in a CPR course Yaakov was giving to older students during a school break. Despite the boys being slightly younger than his regular attendees he agreed. After all, he himself was an “underage” when he began his medical career. The two boys took the course and went back to school. Sometime during the school year, the boys’ father was driving them to school when he noticed a commotion on the side of the road and slowed down. By the time he saw the unconscious man on the sidewalk and stopped the car, his two sons had already opened their doors and were getting out. The boys ran to the unconscious man and quickly checked his pulse. Finding none, the two pre-teens, with no medical equipment on hand, immediately began CPR. Utilizing the skills that they had learned in their recent first aid course, they proficiently administered strong chest compressions and mouth to mouth ventilations. Yaakov was on his way to work when he was alerted to this very incident. He changed directions and raced to the scene, only to be astonished at seeing his two “underage” protégés fighting to save a life. The experienced paramedic quickly joined in, administering cardiac drugs, electric shocks and intubation. Thankfully, the resuscitation was successful and the man was rushed to the hospital. One week later, the gentleman returned home to his wife and 10 children, fully recovered and with no long term side effects whatsoever.
This incredibly devoted volunteer not only saves lives on a daily basis, but he is training the next generation of lifesavers as well.