Yishai works as an ambulance driver and lives with his wife and child in Haifa. Although Yishai is a medical emergency responder by profession, it is the volunteer work with United Hatzalah that gives him the most satisfaction. Rushing out at odd times may be inconvenient, but it is also the most meaningful. People don’t schedule their medical emergencies. They happen when they happen, suddenly and unexpected. Yishai’s wife is totally behind his lifesaving activities. So supportive is she, that when his walkie-talkie goes off in the middle of the night and she hears it first, she wakes him up saying, “Yishai, there is a call in our area!”
One example why Yishai thrives on volunteering for United Hatzalah can be seen from the following story. One afternoon, Yishai received an alert of a child choking just a few doors away. He immediately radioed back he was on the way and in ten seconds he was bounding up the staircase to the apartment. The panicked mother was totally astonished at his near instantaneous response. The experienced medic quickly grabbed the child and with a few precise maneuvers managed to remove the piece of tin foil which the young girl had swallowed and was blocking her airway. The girl immediately began to breathe normally and the mother broke down in tears of joy. When she regained her composure, she profusely thanked Yishai for saving his daughter’s life.
While it is nice to be appreciated, this is not what keeps this steadfast volunteer going. It is the mere fact that he had saved a life. That is more than enough compensation for Yishai. Anything else is just icing on the cake.