Current Events

Teenage son of EMT saves elderly woman's life in Afula

(Adapted from


Just after 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday evening August 4 in the city of Afula, a woman in her 60s collapsed on Arlozorov Street in Afula. A crowd had gathered around the woman and people were unsure what to do.

Sixteen-year-old Shaked Masas was walking on the street when he saw the commotion. "I had just finished my private English class and was headed to the bus stop. When I saw a group of people in a crowd and people were shouting for help, I rushed over and saw the collapsed woman. I checked for a pulse and finding none, I began CPR compressions as someone else called for an ambulance."

Shaked is the son of United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Yossi Masas and was inspired by his father's volunteering to learn how to administer CPR himself. "I have been in the car numerous times when my father has responded to emergencies. I've seen him rushing out of the house to go and help others and I told myself that I want to do this as well. A few months ago I finished a 44-hour EMR (emergency medical responder) training course and just last month I had a refresher course. Yesterday I got to put it to good use."

After starting compressions, a soldier joined Shaked and the pair alternated performing compressions as they waited for help to arrive. Just a few minutes later, United Hatzalah EMT Imad Zoabi arrived at the scene and joined Shaked and the soldier. With Zoabi's arrival, the soldier took a step back. Zoabi attached oxygen and together with Shaked, rotated between providing assisted ventilation and compressions.

"I was out grocery shopping when I received the alert regarding the woman suffering a cardiac arrest," Zoabi said. "I dropped everything, jumped in my car, and rushed over. I found Shaked, performing compressions like a pro. He had done everything right. I was sure he was an EMT and when I asked his age I was shocked to learn that he was just 16. I wanted to invite him to join United Hatzalah and he told me that his father is a volunteer. It was really something to see."

Five minutes later a mobile intensive care ambulance arrived and attached a heart monitor which applied two shocks and through this managed to bring the woman's pulse back. The woman was then loaded onto the ambulance and rushed to the hospital for further care.

"There is no doubt whatsoever that Shaked helped save this woman's life," said Zoabi. "Without his initiating CPR as quickly as he did, it is unlikely that we would have been able to bring her pulse back later."

Yossi Masas spoke about his son's lifesaving heroics. "I am very proud of my son who studied hard to become an EMR. Not only did he excel in his studies but when the time came to put into practice what he learned, he did so without hesitation and saved a woman's life. This may be the proudest I have ever been of my son."

When President and Founder of United Hatzalah Eli Beer heard about the story, he commented: "I understood from the very beginning that United Hatzalah is a family. When people become volunteers with our organization it becomes a part of who they are. It not only affects them but their whole family as well. Each of their family members is a partner with us in the lifesaving work that their mothers, fathers, or siblings do.

"As a father, who has three children of my own who are also EMTs, I can say that there is nothing that makes a parent prouder than when a child follows in their parent's path of doing acts of loving-kindness and saves a life. I want to say thank you to Shaked and Imad for saving this woman and to Yossi for inspiring your son to follow in your ways. May you all merit to save many more lives in the future."



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