For anyone thinking about volunteering on top of a full-time job, Zvi Tibber is a true inspiration. For the past three decades, Zvi has served as a first responder, handling life-and-death situations for Israel’s emergency medical service Magen David Adom (MDA). And he’s made the time despite working full time as director of product development in F5’s Tel Aviv office.
Over the years, Zvi has responded to day-to-day emergencies from breathing issues to injuries to heart attacks. He volunteered when COVID hit, treating patients reluctant to go to the hospital. He was there during the October 7 Hamas attack, treating victims suffering from gunshot wounds. He’s even traveled outside of Israel to help people injured during the devastating earthquake in Turkey.
In this third blog post in our series honoring F5ers who give back, Zvi is a testament to what we can accomplish when we integrate community service into our professional lives.
Zvi says he’s been interested in emergency care ever since he was a child. His older sister volunteered for MDA as a teenager, and when he turned 15, Zvi began giving back to the same organization, taking the basic course needed to administer first aid.
Although Zvi liked this work, he says he was constantly looking to take on a bigger role. He eventually became an emergency medical technician (EMT) ambulance driver. And a few years ago, he completed a two-year evening class to serve as a paramedic performing advanced life support.
Now volunteering as a senior paramedic, Zvi says he likes helping people in distress. “Being there to help people and calm them down—I know it makes an impact, and that’s very fulfilling,” he says.
An ambulance parked outside of his home, Zvi is on call 24/7, ready to help sick and injured patients in his hometown of Alfie Menashe in the center of Israel. He also works two set shifts, driving an advanced life support ambulance about 15 hours a week. “At every branch of my life, after leaving school and finishing my army service, I’ve always stayed with this,” he says.
In his 34 years of service, Zvi has responded to thousands of emergency situations. Sometimes it’s been as basic as lending a hand, like the time when an elderly woman fell in her bathroom and Zvi helped her back into bed.
Other times it’s been more challenging, such as during COVID when many people let their conditions escalate. “They’d be having chest pains but didn’t want to go to the hospital,” Zvi recalls. “And I’d tell them that’s not your biggest worry right now. You’re having a heart attack, and if you don’t go, you could become severely incapacitated.”
Zvi also responded to the October 7 Hamas attack, a harrowing day in which some victims were already dead when he arrived on the scene. He treated a woman shot in the thigh while attending the Nova music festival, and a 5-year-old Bedouin boy who’d survived gunshots that had killed his parents. “What I saw that day was more than what I saw during the entire year,” Zvi says.
While he’s witnessed a lot of trauma, there have also been joyful moments, like the time when Zvi traveled to Turkey after the earthquake and treated a 6-year-old boy who’d been trapped under the rubble of a collapsed building. “I remember going to sleep at night wondering if he would survive,” Zvi says. “But the next morning, I found him awake, eating, back to his normal self. It was so great to see.”
Working at F5 and volunteering for MDA has enabled Zvi to pursue both of his life passions. “When I went to university, I was considering two choices, either computer science or medicine,” he says. “I’ve been lucky enough to do both.
Zvi says he appreciates F5’s human-first culture and all the company does to encourage community service—such as paying for employees to volunteer one day a year and matching employee volunteer time with donations. A few years ago, Zvi helped MDA obtain a $5,000 USD Community Impact Grant from F5, which the nonprofit used to install a defibrillator in the ambulance Zvi drives. “F5 has supported me a lot, and I’m really grateful for that,” he says.
Asked how he makes the time for volunteering while working a full-time job, Zvi’s answer is simple: “I make the time because it’s important to me.” Volunteering is a commitment, Zvi says, but the pay back is huge. “Instead of sitting on the couch watching TV, use that time to volunteer,” he says. “Believe me, it will be a lot more fulfilling.”
Zvi’s service as a first responder has inspired many others, including his own teenage son and daughter, both of whom now volunteer for MDA. Zvi says each of us should find a way to give back, even if it’s just a few hours. “Everyone should do a little bit of good,” he says. “If I volunteer over here and somebody else volunteers over there, together we can bring about a more perfect world.”
To find out how other F5ers are giving back to their communities, read the other blog posts in this series:
Also, visit our Global Good webpage to see how F5 inspires community action: https://www.f5.com/company/global-good