Israel is a famously child-centered society, and a recent incident involving a medical emergency illustrates just how deep that familial warmth extends.

On a Tuesday in February, United Hatzalah emergency medical technicians Chezi Rosenbaum and Tom Elnadiv from southern Israeli town of Kiryat Malachi each received an alert to an emergency in their area.

Both volunteer responders dropped what they were doing and rushed out to provide medical assistance to the patient, a young mother who had sliced her finger on a food-processor blade.

United Hatzalah EMT Chezi Rosenbaum feeding a baby in the home of a woman he sent to the hospital after bandaging her finger. Photo: courtesy

“The woman’s finger was very badly cut,” said Rosenbaum. ”We bandaged the finger and prepared her for transport to the hospital. She decided to head to the hospital with her husband but she had a problem. She told us that she was watching her own child as well as the child of a neighbor and that she couldn’t go to the hospital until the child’s mother came back to pick up the baby.”

Without exchanging more than a quick glance at one another, the two men said they would stay behind to care for the kids, even offering to bottle-feed the baby until her mother returned.

“We are all parents and we know how to watch children and give a bottle,” Rosenbaum said as he reassured the mother, who went off to the ER with her husband.

“This incident isn’t so different from many other cases that I and other United Hatzalah responders receive,” said Rosenbaum, a United Hatzalah EMT for two years. “We rush to the scene to help people, and sometimes that includes going the extra mile beyond the medical treatment that we provide. It’s part of the job.”

He credits his helpful attitude to his Israeli upbringing. “My mother raised me and my siblings to give to others and share acts of loving kindness with everyone. I cannot help but recognize that a lot of what I do is inspired by her example.”