Rishon LeTzion - Mair Ya’ari is a United Hatzalah volunteer hailing from the city of Bnei Brak. Along with volunteering as a medical service first responder, Meir is a teacher at a school for troubled teens.
On Wednesday afternoon, Meir was on a trip with his students to the Rishon LeZion beach. As the group was unloading from the bus, one of Meir’s students urged his teacher to leave his communications device in the car that he drove in, so that he can provide undivided attention to his students. Knowing the importance of life-saving, Meir put the device in his pocket. At 12:30 p.m., the device began to ring.
In a supermarket on Etzel Street in Rishon Lezion, a 60-year-old worker was feeling unwell when he suddenly collapsed in the middle of the store. Alerted bystanders called United Hatzalah Dispatch and Command Center. Meir, who was still at the beach with his students, told the other teachers to watch the children and that he had to leave for a short time. He then proceeded to rush to his car and headed for the supermarket.
Meir arrived at the same time as volunteer EMT Eli Rot. The two EMTs located the man and launched into CPR. Eli began chest compressions as Meir attached his defibrillator. The defibrillator advised 4 shocks, and they were all administered between rounds of chest compressions and assisted ventilation.
After a few minutes, the two EMTs were joined by a paramedic. The paramedic assisted with the CPR efforts to revive the man and was about to administer medicines when the man’s pulse suddenly returned. With assisted ventilation continuing on the unconscious patient, the team managed to stabilize his condition just as a mobile intensive care ambulance arrived at the scene.
15 minutes after Meir and Eli arrived and initiated CPR, he was in stable condition and on his way to the hospital. With the emergency averted and a life saved, Meir returned to the beach, where his students greeted him with open arms.
“One of the most inspiring moments of that day was not the CPR itself, but what my student told me when I got back,” said Meir. “The same student that asked me to leave my communication device in the car asked me where I had gone for the last 20 minutes. When I explained the situation he said in simple words: ‘So a man is alive today because the device was in your pocket and not in the car?’ His words were so simple yet so impactful, because he was right, and I will carry these words with me for a long time.”