Nechama Loebel of Ramat Gan, 30, is the first deaf person to complete an emergency medical technician (EMT) course in Israel.
Deaf from birth, Loebel will work with Israel’s national volunteer emergency response organization, United Hatzalah.
“This is a dream come true for me,” said Loebel. “I’ve always wanted to volunteer as an EMT first-responder who can save lives. I am so happy that United Hatzalah has given me the opportunity to become an EMT even with the challenges I face. This is not a responsibility that I take lightly. While I will be volunteering with United Hatzalah as an EMT, I will also be working to get members of the deaf community involved in first-aid and EMT courses throughout the country.”
The organization’s LifeCompass technology will be installed on Loebel’s phone to notify her via vibration to medical emergencies in her area. She will be given detailed text instructions on her phone regarding the location as well as what type of emergency to expect.
When Loebel responds to calls, other United Hatzalah volunteer EMTs, paramedics and doctors will provide her with alternative solutions to the audible stimuli necessary to treat injured and sick people at the scenes of medical emergencies.
“The staff in the field will have the responsibility to help Nechama be as effective as possible in responding to all of the medical emergencies that we have become so equipped at handling,” said United Hatzalah founder Eli Beer.
“From the very beginning of United Hatzalah we have been an organization that believes in unifying medical personnel from all segments of Israeli society,” Beer added. “We are breaking down new barriers and including among our many volunteers people with disabilities, who will work as part of our EMS family.”