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Gracieuseté de CBC News

Meet Montreal's crew of Jewish emergency responders

Simcha Wenger was at his Montreal synagogue when he got the call: come quickly, a man in his 30s is choking.

Wenger and a group of fellow worshippers hopped in a car and were at the nearby home in minutes.

The man was, in fact, having a heart attack.

In those first crucial moments before paramedics arrived, Wenger grabbed a defibrillator from the car and shocked the man back to life.

Without his care, Wenger believes, the man might not have survived.

"We followed up with him after," Wenger recalled during a recent training session for Hatzoloh Montreal, a Jewish emergency response service.

"I ended up spending three hours in the hospital."

Wenger, who runs a grocery store on Park Avenue, is one of roughly 80 of the group's volunteers. There are also rabbis, teachers, businessmen — even a magician (he sometimes uses magic tricks to cheer up kids after a scare).

Together, they ensure someone is available 24 hours a day.

"Our response time is generally between two and four minutes. Often that makes the difference between life and death," said Sheldon Goldberg, one of the organization's directors.

One division serves the primarily Hasidic community in the Outremont area. The other services Orthodox Jews in the city's west end, including Côte-des-Neiges, Côte-Saint-Luc and Hampstead. Voir l'histoire complète.

Gracieuseté de COL LIVE

Girl's Life Saving Gift Ripple Effect

Ripple effect of kindness:
A defibrillator donated by a 12 year old girl in Montreal inspired another gift which saved a life in Santiago, Chile.

The decision of a 12-year-old girl to donate a defibrillator to her school last year led to a life being saved in Santiago, Chile this past Rosh Hashana.

It began last year when Shmarya Plotkin, who is an instructor for the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, decided to provide first aid and CPR training to the staff of each Jewish school in Montreal.

As his project grew, he realized the need for each school to have a defibrillator, which delivers a therapeutic dose of electric current to the heart. This reestablishes the body's natural pacemaker, often saving lives. These cost between $1,500-$2,000 each.

In reality each school needs three defibrillators, but thanks to Plotkin's fundraising, several of these devices have been placed in Jewish schools across Montreal.

When Plotkin approached his friend Ari Schwartz to ask if he would help sponsor a defibrillators, he noted that Schwartz's daughter Esty was going to turn 12, and proposed a partial sponsorship in honor of her Bas Mitzvah.

Schwartz sat down with his daughter that evening and asked if she would like a nice gift valued at the cost of the defibrillator or if she would prefer to donate the life-saving device to her school.

"She immediately said that she'd rather get the defibrillator," Schwartz told Bill613 last December. "As a parent, this makes me very happy. She left a good example and hopefully others will follow her lead and do this as well." Voir l'histoire complète

Gracieuseté de CTV NEWS

One dead, one critical after pedestrians struck by truck in Mile End

A 66-year-old woman is dead and a 63-year-old woman is in critical condition after they were struck by a truck on Bernard St. and Park Ave. in Mile End Tuesday afternoon.
Montreal police say the cube truck was heading north on Park Ave. when it hit two women around 2:10 p.m. on Tuesday. The women were rushed to hospital after being treated at the scene by emergency responders, said Montreal police spokesperson Jean-Pierre Brabant.

“Shortly after I arrived there, the Hatzalah volunteer EMS also arrived on scene. We immediately started CPR and started giving one of the victims medication,” said witness Raphael Farkas. “I was assisting them in attending to the more seriously injured victim. Another bunch of guys from the volunteer EMS was attending to the critical victim who I believe was still breathing.”

“I quickly ran out, I saw there was a woman lying on the ground covered in blood. I quickly started unbuttoning my shirt to be able to apply pressure,” said another witness, Alexander March.

The 66-year-old woman died shortly after in hospital.

Park Ave. was closed in both directions between St. Viateur and Van Horne Ave. for several hours while police conducted their investigation and talked to witnesses. Voir l'histoire complète

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