Four volunteer paramedics with the rescue organization United Hatzalah were taking part in an advanced EMT training course on Monday when they got an emergency call.
What makes this particular group of EMTs special is that three of them are Jewish men, while the fourth is a religious Muslim woman, Sanaa Mahameed (pictured).
The emergency call concerned an 80-year-old resident of a nearby moshav in northern Israel who had lost consciousness while parking his car. Passersby had quickly alerted United Hatzalah, while a family member began administering CPR according to instructions received over the phone.
Three minutes later, the team arrived at the scene and took over the CPR effort. A few moments later a doctor who lives in the neighborhood arrived and administered Adrenaline, while EMT Sanaa attached a defibrillator. After one shock together with assisted ventilation and chest compressions, the man’s pulse returned.
Still unconscious, the man was taken to the hospital with a mobile intensive care ambulance, and the team returned to their training session.
The episode once again debunked the notion that Israel is an “apartheid” state where Jews and Muslims do not coexist in relative peace and harmony.
As EMT Sanaa Mahameed noted following the successful rescue operation: “Despite the common misconception that men and women, Jewish and Muslim, cannot work together, I’ve never felt safer in the company of my peers and fellow EMTs than I do working together with other volunteers from United Hatzalah.”
She added that neither she nor her Jewish colleagues “see race, religion, or gender when on the job. We see an emergency, and a person who needs help. By focusing on our common goal of helping others, it is easy to put the politics aside and even build bonds of friendship with one another, and that is what happens in this organization.”
See related: Christian EMTs Saving Israeli Jewish Lives
With reporting by TPS