Sign language kaparot 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Israel’s first emergency medical services course for medics to be taught to the deaf in sign language has been organized for volunteers in United Hatzalah.
After becoming the first deaf emergency medical technician in the country, Nechama Loebel has once again broken barriers for the deaf and hard of hearing community, by instructing the first such course in sign language.
Loebel, who recently graduated from both a psychotrauma and crisis response course as well as an EMS instructors course, is certified to instruct basic cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and EMS classes.
She wasted no time in organizing the first-ever EMS course.
“It is my dream to be able to take this lifesaving information and pay it forward to other members of the deaf and hard of hearing community in Israel,” said Loebel.
The course took place in the community clubhouse for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Ashdod. United Hatzalah, the nationwide voluntary and free rescue and first-aid service, offers family safety courses that are comprised of basic EMS skills including CPR and proper procedures for treating common injuries such as burns, choking, light wounds and broken bones.
As part of the network of courses, Loebel felt it was important to offer these classes to those with hearing disabilities in a language they understand. “The goal is to provide as many people as we can with the basic tools they need to save a life in an emergency.
There is no reason that the deaf community should be excluded from that,” she said.
The course was overseen by Yechiel Cohen, who serves as the local chapter head for the organization in Ashdod. Loebel translated the information into sign language simultaneously to Cohen’s instruction.
United Hatzalah founder and president Eli Beer said, “Nechama has been a treasure to our organization. Not only is she an active volunteer who has saved many lives and helped other volunteers in the field communicate with patients who are deaf and hard of hearing, but she has been an inspiration to us all and challenges us to continue to expand our horizons and include people from all walks of life and all populations in Israel.”