Why I Can’t Drink My Cup of Coffee This Morning

For those who know me, you know I don’t drink coffee. But this isn’t my story. This is the story of a man named Yagel Bar Kama who lives in Tel Aviv. I’ll let him tell you the rest.

My name is Yagel Bar-Kama and I live in Tel Aviv and I like to visit Park Hayarkon in the mornings. I work as a dog walker in the city and I am often in the park in the mornings walking the dogs I care for. I was walking my first dog back to its house near Pinkas Street by Namir Boulevard and I received a call that there was a car accident right near my location. I ran over and saw that there thankfully was no one injured. I got back and hopped on to my ambucycle and went back to the park and I ordered a coffee at a pop-up shop in the park. Just as I was ordering the coffee, I got a call that there was a person with low blood pressure also on Namir Boulevard. I left my coffee and turned around to head back to where I just was. I found an older man in his home suffering from extremely low blood pressure. I prepared an IV for the man and when the ambulance came I assisted them in transporting the man to the ambulance so that he could be taken to the hospital for further treatment. 

Just as I was getting back onto my ambucycle, I received another call on my bluebird from the dispatch that there was a traffic accident between two bicycles. When I arrived thankfully no one needed medical care. At this point, I realized that I wasn’ going to get back to the park to drink my coffee. Instead, I called a friend of mine to come and drink coffee with me near my house. We sat down to drink the coffee and just as I was taking my first sip, I got another call about an unconscious person in a nursing home right near-by. When I arrived I found an older woman who was conscious but suffering from low oxygen levels and shortness of breath. I treated her and assisted the ambulance team to take her downstairs to the ambulance when it arrived.

We are trained for these things and we get used to living an interrupted life. This is part of what it means to be a volunteer first responder. When something happens, I drop everything and go. Even when you are trying to drink coffee with friends or in the middle of work, if there is an emergency call nearby I rush out. This is why United Hatzalah was created, how it functions, and why it is so successful at reaching the location of an emergency in less than three minutes. The coffee can wait, the friends can wait. An injured or unconscious person can’t wait. I really enjoy volunteering with United Hatzalah and I am proud to be a member of the ambucycle unit. Ever since I’ve received my ambucycle, I can now go to places that I couldn’t get to by car and I can arrive much faster. It is a tool that really helps me provide medical care to the patients faster then I could before.”  

About the Author
Raphael Poch is a Canadian-Israeli playwright, producer, director, actor and journalist. He is the International Media Spokesperson for United Hatzalah and runs the First City Improv Troupe.
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