Security guards at Rambam Health Care Campus play a crucial role. These individuals are responsible for the safety of patients and staff, and their job begins at the hospital gates.
For veteran security officer Jaomis Zahi, sometimes all it takes is one look at a person to know that they are trying to bring drugs into the hospital. Zahi, who has been a Rambam security officer for more than two decades, is exceptionally gifted in his ability to process information from multiple sources and to "read" people. Through intuition, studying the person's body language, attentiveness to speech and mannerisms, and simple gut instincts, he is often able to determine when people are carrying drugs.
Recently, Zahi stopped four attempts to bring drugs into the hospital complex. In honor of his many accomplishments, Zahi was invited to the office of Rambam Director General Professor Michael Halberthal, where he received an award honoring his alertness, skills, and talents. His efforts are helping to protect patients, medical staff, and visitors.
The modest ceremony provided only a brief respite for Zahi, as later that evening, he identified a visitor trying to smuggle drugs into Rambam. With the assistance of an onsite police officer, he was again able to foil the attempt.
“This is a phenomenon we deal with daily,” said Benny Keller, Rambam's Chief Security Officer. “We are witnessing a marked increase in the number of incidents in which visitors attempt to smuggle drugs into the Hospital,” he adds.
Zahi, aged 44, is the father of three daughters and one son. He lives in the village of Beit Zarzir, and is a scion of a family with deep ties to Israel's security forces. He describes his abilities as part of his family heritage: “We are Bedouins. We have sharp senses, including our gut instincts, which allow us to look into the eyes of a person and see if their behavior is normative – it is something that comes from within. I begin conversations with people, and as we speak, I examine their behavior, and when things are not right, something within begins to flicker.” Zahi further explains that when he has conducted searches of people entering the hospital, he has found drugs concealed in many unusual places. In these days of COVID-19, he has even found drugs hidden in masks!