As the coronavirus spreads, the ambulances careening through the empty streets of Jerusalem-under-lockdown have become a familiar sight. For Boys Town Jerusalem senior Daniel Yemini, a newly-licensed medic working ongoing 8-hour ambulance shifts, the fierce crisis has transformed his volunteer work with Magen David Adom (Israeli Red Cross) from a passion to an urgent, lifesaving mission.

“I first began volunteering with Magen David Adom three years ago through BTJ’s community service program,” Daniel explains. Fortunately, he recently completed the challenging 230-hour course to become a medic and a qualified member of the emergency medical ambulance team. Just three weeks ago, as Israeli Department of Health guidelines designated Magen David Adom as the first responders for suspected coronavirus victims, Daniel became a soldier on the frontline of the battle to save lives.

Ambulance crews have been reduced from four to two, to limit an entire crew’s exposure to highly infectious patients,” Daniel explains. His fully-disposable protective gear now includes a robe, mask, glasses, gloves, shoe coverings, and more. “It’s not so easy to move inside it all,” he admits.

Corona patients are only some of those who Daniel and his colleagues treat each day and night. “Resuscitating patients is a life or death situation that we continually face,” he says. “My colleague and I administer electric shocks (electrical defibrillation) to restore people’s heartbeat and lives,” he says. But the young medic is proudest of the ongoing emergency births he performs. “This week’s count is two boys, so far,” he smiles.

Despite his grueling 8-hour shifts day and night, Daniel, an electronics major, still manages to complete his online schoolwork assignments. He also makes a daily phone call to his teacher Rabbi Amos Daikon to pour out his heart. “Rabbi Daikon, a fervent volunteer and BTJ grad himself, set the personal example for us all. Now, especially, he keeps my spirits high. Alongside patients in the ambulance, I do my best to reassure them that the Lord will give them strength.”

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