Hatzolah

Hatzolah

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Hatzolah/Hatzalah is a volunteer Emergency Medical Service
Emergency medical services
Emergency medical services are a type of emergency service dedicated to providing out-of-hospital acute medical care and/or transport to definitive care, to patients with illnesses and injuries which the patient, or the medical practitioner, believes constitutes a medical emergency...

 (EMS) organization serving mostly Jewish communities around the world. Most local branches operate independently of each other, but use the common name. The Hebrew spelling of the name is always the same, but there are many variations in transliteration, such as Hatzolah, Hatzoloh, Hatzalah, and Hatzola. It is also often called Chevra Hatzolah, which loosely translates as "Company of Rescuers" or "Group of Rescuers."

History


The original Hatzolah EMS was founded in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Williamsburg is a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Brooklyn, bordering Greenpoint to the north, Bedford-Stuyvesant to the south, Bushwick to the east and the East River to the west. The neighborhood is part of Brooklyn Community Board 1. The neighborhood is served by the NYPD's 90th ...

, New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

, USA by Rabbi Hershel Weber in the late 1960s, to improve rapid emergency medical response in the community, and to mitigate cultural concerns of a Yiddish-speaking, religious Hasidic community. The idea spread to other Orthodox Jewish
Orthodox Judaism
Orthodox Judaism , is the approach to Judaism which adheres to the traditional interpretation and application of the laws and ethics of the Torah as legislated in the Talmudic texts by the Sanhedrin and subsequently developed and applied by the later authorities known as the Gaonim, Rishonim, and...

 neighborhoods in the New York City area
New York metropolitan area
The New York metropolitan area, also known as Greater New York, or the Tri-State area, is the region that composes of New York City and the surrounding region...

, and eventually to other regions, countries, and continents. Hatzolah, as an organization, is the largest volunteer ambulance service in the world. Chevra Hatzalah in New York has more than a thousand volunteer EMTs and Paramedics who answer more than 250,000 calls each year with private vehicles and a fleet of more than 70 ambulances.

Hatzalah members were among the first responders to the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Alongside other rescue workers, Hatzalah volunteers rescued, treated, and transported countless victims of the terrorist attack. In the process they earned great respect from their peers in the emergency service community.

Hatzolah's claim to be among the first responders on 9/11 is dubious, as they were not dispatched by the city's 911 system and a printout of the 911 job from FDNY EMS, does not list them as responding units. The first responding units to the World Trade Center were FDNY EMS Car 6C Chief Goldfarb and NY Prebyterian Hospital unit 10D, followed within minutes by numerous additional EMS units from Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan as well as other voluntary units including, Cabrini Medical Center, Mary Immaculate Hospital, Saint Vincent's Medical Center, NY Hospital Queens, St Luke's Roosevelt and Flushing Hospital, 02B, 06V, 04H, 06J, 12Z, 04B, 46W, 20D, 31A, 45D, 08D, 21B, 22A, 31I, 50B, 52F.

Hatzolah organizations now function in Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

, Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

, Mexico City
Mexico City
Mexico City is the Federal District , capital of Mexico and seat of the federal powers of the Mexican Union. It is a federal entity within Mexico which is not part of any one of the 31 Mexican states but belongs to the federation as a whole...

, Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

, Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

, several provinces of Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, and at least five states in the US
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

.

In Israel, the largest Hatzalah organization is called Ichud Hatzalah , Hebrew for, "United Hatzalah." Ichud was founded in the aftermath of Israel's Second Lebanon War in 2006 when its founders decided they would like to improve unified central rescue response. A prior organization, Hatzolah Israel, also exists, and is of comparable size.

Operations


Hatzolah uses a fly-car
Fly-car
An ambulance emergency response vehicle is a vehicle operated by an emergency medical service to respond to medical emergencies either in addition to, or in place of, an ambulance capable of transporting patients....

 system, where members are assigned ad-hoc
Ad hoc
Ad hoc is a Latin phrase meaning "for this". It generally signifies a solution designed for a specific problem or task, non-generalizable, and not intended to be able to be adapted to other purposes. Compare A priori....

 to respond to the emergency. The dispatcher requests any units for a particular emergency location. Members who think they will have best response times respond via handheld radios
Walkie-talkie
A walkie-talkie is a hand-held, portable, two-way radio transceiver. Its development during the Second World War has been variously credited to Donald L. Hings, radio engineer Alfred J. Gross, and engineering teams at Motorola...

, and the dispatcher confirms the appropriate members. Two members will typically respond directly to the call in their private vehicles. A third member retrieves an ambulance
Ambulance
An ambulance is a vehicle for transportation of sick or injured people to, from or between places of treatment for an illness or injury, and in some instances will also provide out of hospital medical care to the patient...

 from a base location.

Each directly-dispatched Hatzolah volunteer has a full medical technician "jump kit," in their car, with oxygen, trauma, and appropriate pharmaceutical supplies. Paramedic (EMT-P) members carry more extensive equipment and supplies, including EKG, IV
Intravenous therapy
Intravenous therapy or IV therapy is the infusion of liquid substances directly into a vein. The word intravenous simply means "within a vein". Therapies administered intravenously are often called specialty pharmaceuticals...

, injection, intubation, and more pharmaceuticals. Each volunteer is called a Unit (as in, a crew of one), and is assigned a unit number that starts with a neighborhood code, followed by a serial number
Serial number
A serial number is a unique number assigned for identification which varies from its successor or predecessor by a fixed discrete integer value...

 for that neighborhood (e.g., "F-100" means "Flatbush unit number 100"). Ambulances also have unit numbers in the same format, with the first few numbers for each neighborhood reserved for the ambulance numbers. Some neighborhoods have begun to assign 3-digit unit numbers to their ambulances, using numbers out of the range assigned to human member units (e.g. 900-numbers).

In some areas there may be periods where coverage is not strong enough, for example on a summer weekend. When this happens, coordinators may assign an on-call rotation. The rotation may still respond from their houses, or they may stay at the garage through their shift. In such periods, Hatzoloh functions closer to a typical EMS crew setup, though the dispatchers may still seek non-on-call members to respond, and there will still often be a non-ambulance responder as first dispatched, even if that responder starts from the base.

Response times


Hatzolah's model provides for speedy first responder
Certified first responder
A certified first responder is a person who has completed a course and received certification in providing pre-hospital care for medical emergencies. They have more skill than someone who is trained in basic first aid but they are not a substitute for advanced medical care rendered by emergency...

 response times. Each Hatzolah neighborhood's response time varies. For example, in Borough Park, Brooklyn
Borough Park, Brooklyn
Borough Park , is a neighborhood in the southwestern part of the borough of Brooklyn, in New York City in the United States....

 daytime response time averages under 2 minutes, and night-time averages are 7–8 minutes. In the Beverly-La Brea neighborhood of Los Angeles
Los Ángeles
Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the commune of the same name, in Region VIII , in the center-south of Chile. It is located between the Laja and Biobío rivers. The population is 123,445 inhabitants...

 response times average at sixty to ninety seconds.

Organization


Hatzolah is not a single organization. Each chapter operates autonomously, or in some cases, with varying levels of affiliation with neighboring Hatzolah chapters.

In New York City's Hatzolah, there is a very simple operational hierarchy. Usually, there are two or three members who are "coordinators," managing all operations aspects of the chapter.

As Orthodox Jews, many volunteers see each other daily during prayers
Jewish services
Jewish prayer are the prayer recitations that form part of the observance of Judaism. These prayers, often with instructions and commentary, are found in the siddur, the traditional Jewish prayer book....

, and especially on Shabbat
Shabbat
Shabbat is the seventh day of the Jewish week and a day of rest in Judaism. Shabbat is observed from a few minutes before sunset on Friday evening until a few minutes after when one would expect to be able to see three stars in the sky on Saturday night. The exact times, therefore, differ from...

. This allows them to remain organized despite the lack of an extensive formal hierarchy.

The coordinators are responsible for recruitment, interaction with municipal agency operations (police, fire, and EMS), first-line discipline, and day to day operations. The coordinators often are responsible, directly or via delegation, for arranging maintenance crews, who are often called service members or service units, and for purchasing supplies, ambulances, and other equipment. There is also an administrative function, often separate from the coordinator function. The chief administrator is often called a director or executive director
Executive director
Executive director is a term sometimes applied to the chief executive officer or managing director of an organization, company, or corporation. It is widely used in North American non-profit organizations, though in recent decades many U.S. nonprofits have adopted the title "President/CEO"...

, and this is sometimes a paid position. All other positions in Hatzoloh, including coordinators, are held by unpaid volunteers.

Most of the New York State branches have some centralized administration and dispatch functions, known as "Central Hatzalah," or simply, "Central." The neighborhood organizations under Central are nevertheless independent. Most Hatzolah organizations pattern themselves after the Williamsburg and Central models (see operational descriptions below).

Formally, the New York City-area "Central Hatzolah" is called Chevra Hatzalah of New York. It combines dispatch and some other functions for over a dozen neighborhood organizations, including Williamsburg
Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Williamsburg is a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Brooklyn, bordering Greenpoint to the north, Bedford-Stuyvesant to the south, Bushwick to the east and the East River to the west. The neighborhood is part of Brooklyn Community Board 1. The neighborhood is served by the NYPD's 90th ...

, Flatbush
Flatbush, Brooklyn
Flatbush is a community of the Borough of Brooklyn, a part of New York City, consisting of several neighborhoods.The name Flatbush is an Anglicization of the Dutch language Vlacke bos ....

, Boro Park, Canarsie, Lower East Side
Lower East Side
The Lower East Side, LES, is a neighborhood in the southeastern part of the New York City borough of Manhattan. It is roughly bounded by Allen Street, East Houston Street, Essex Street, Canal Street, Eldridge Street, East Broadway, and Grand Street....

, Upper West Side
Upper West Side
The Upper West Side is a neighborhood in the borough of Manhattan, New York City, that lies between Central Park and the Hudson River and between West 59th Street and West 125th Street...

, Midtown
Midtown Manhattan
Midtown Manhattan, or simply Midtown, is an area of Manhattan, New York City home to world-famous commercial zones such as Rockefeller Center, Broadway, and Times Square...

, Washington Heights
Washington Heights, Manhattan
Washington Heights is a New York City neighborhood in the northern reaches of the borough of Manhattan. It is named for Fort Washington, a fortification constructed at the highest point on Manhattan island by Continental Army troops during the American Revolutionary War, to defend the area from the...

, Queens
Queens
Queens is the easternmost of the five boroughs of New York City. The largest borough in area and the second-largest in population, it is coextensive with Queens County, an administrative division of New York state, in the United States....

, Rockaway/Lawrence, Seagate
Seagate, Brooklyn
Sea Gate is a private, gated community at the far western end of Coney Island at the southwestern tip of the New York City borough of Brooklyn. It contains mostly single-family homes, some directly on Gravesend Bay...

, Catskills, Staten Island
Staten Island
Staten Island is a borough of New York City, New York, United States, located in the southwest part of the city. Staten Island is separated from New Jersey by the Arthur Kill and the Kill Van Kull, and from the rest of New York by New York Bay...

, Riverdale
Riverdale, Bronx
Riverdale is an affluent residential neighborhood in the northwest portion of the Bronx in New York City. Riverdale contains the northernmost point in New York City.-History:...

, and others. As each of these areas is otherwise independent, each has its own fundraising, management, garages, ambulances, and assigned members. Rockland County, NY
Rockland County, New York
Rockland County is a suburban county 15 miles to the northwest of Manhattan and part of the New York City Metropolitan Area, in the U.S. state of New York. It is the southernmost county in New York west of the Hudson River, and the smallest county in New York outside of New York City. The...

 branches have a centralized dispatch system as well, but their central organization
Central organization
A central organization is the main body of a group of organizations.Also, "central organization" refers to something with an aesthetic center, such as a flower. The aesthetic make-up draws the viewer's eye towards the center....

 is separate from the other New York State centralized functions, and they have a looser relationship with their New York State brethren, though there is a great deal of cooperation among them. Together, the combined New York State branches have grown to become the largest all-volunteer ambulance system in the United States. The volunteers are trained EMT
Emergency medical technician
Emergency Medical Technician or Ambulance Technician are terms used in some countries to denote a healthcare provider of emergency medical services...

s or paramedic
Paramedic
A paramedic is a healthcare professional that works in emergency medical situations. Paramedics provide advanced levels of care for medical emergencies and trauma. The majority of paramedics are based in the field in ambulances, emergency response vehicles, or in specialist mobile units such as...

s.

Israel's Ichud/United Hatzolah's founder and director is Zeev Kashash, though the regional organization predate Ichud. Eli Beer, originally from the United States, is the volunteer Senior Coordinator for all of Ichud.

Outside of New York and Israel, there are many smaller Hatzolah organizations. Each of these operates as a self-contained unit, with no centralized organization or coordination. However, where there are other Hatzolahs nearby, there is often a great deal of cooperation.

Community involvement


Hatzolah organizations are often involved in other community activities, on top of their primary mission of emergency medical work. Many neighborhood chapters sponsor and participate in community events, both within the local Jewish community, and in the broader community.

Flatbush Hatzalah frequently plays softball against teams from local police precincts, firehouses, and hospitals.

Hatzolah of Passaic/Clifton works with the local Bikur Cholim to put on a yearly Health & Safety Fair at no charge to the community, with participation from both Jewish and non-Jewish presenters, said to get a turnout possibly exceeding 25% community.

Many Hatzolahs worldwide run safety campaigns related to drinking on Purim and fires on Chanukah and during Passover preparations.

Specialization of Hatzolah EMS


A number of items that are either unique to Hatzolah, or that are relatively unusual for an EMS include:

Direct response


Most EMS rely on crews with scheduled shifts operating from a known location. Due to its members and the communities they serve usually living in proximity, Hatzolah relies little on scheduled crews and stations and rather has all service members on call 24×7 and members responding from wherever they are.

Cultural sensitivities


Language, religion, and culture barriers create challenges for an emergency medical service. Hatzalah is built to consider these challenges, especially with regard to halacha (Jewish law) and communities that only speak Yiddish or Hebrew.

A Jew reluctant to violate Sabbath rules when receiving medical attention may be more at ease and easily convinced of the medical urgency, when the EMT or paramedic is a fellow Orthodox Jew. A female worried about physical modesty and contact is helped by knowing that a Jewish provider is aware of the details of her concerns, and will act to reduce the problem as much as possible.

Hatzolah has been the subject of controversy recently as articles in the New York Post and JEMS Magazine criticize the organization for its discriminatory practice of not allowing women to join. A group of Orthodox Women has hired a lawyer to represent them and their cause, citing the need for modesty and sensitivity to the needs of fellow Orthodox women. “This is a woman's job. Historically, women have always delivered babies. In our community, women also have a very strong motivation to seek female doctors," said their lawyer, Rachel Freier, a community resident and Orthodox Jewish mother of six. Until now, Hatzolah has operated under this policy of discrimination, despite receiving public funding, such as the nearly half a million dollars in funding to overhaul the communication system at Hatzolah’s new command center in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn.

Cost


In areas where the EMS charges a fee, lower income clientele lacking health insurance may have a reluctance to call for an ambulance unless the evidence of urgency is overwhelming. A volunteer service, with less overhead costs, tends to reduce that reluctance. Hatzolah will often handle "check-out" cases, without charge. In this way, the true emergencies among those check-outs may be recognized and treated quickly, where the caller might have otherwise not sought treatment.

Interaction with other agencies


Catskills Hatzolah is known to have excellent relations with state and local police and EMS, handling the swelling summer crowd.

Israel's United Hatzalah has shared its expertise with a group of Arab
Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

 volunteers from East Jerusalem
East Jerusalem
East Jerusalem or Eastern Jerusalem refer to the parts of Jerusalem captured and annexed by Jordan in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and then captured and annexed by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War...

 to form an emergency first response unit called Nuran. The Chevra NYC Central affiliates boast an excellent relationship with New York City and New York State agencies.

Their relationship with Magen David Adom
Magen David Adom
The Magen David Adom is Israel's national emergency medical, disaster, ambulance and blood bank service. The name means "Red Star of David"...

, however, is strained, and MDA has banned its members and volunteers from also volunteering in other rescue organizations, including Hatzalah.

Regions


Each neighborhood or city in Hatzalah operates independently. There are some exceptions, where there is a tight affiliation with neighboring Hatzolahs, a loose affiliation of neighboring Hatzolahs, or some other basic level of cooperation.

New York State


New York State chapters include:

New York City


By far the largest Hatzolah group is in New York City. The sixteen local divisions share rabbinic counsel, radio frequencies
Radio frequency
Radio frequency is a rate of oscillation in the range of about 3 kHz to 300 GHz, which corresponds to the frequency of radio waves, and the alternating currents which carry radio signals...

, central dispatch and lobbying, but have separate fundraising and management. Catskills, the Five Towns, and Yonkers are the only areas outside of New York City covered by NYC chapters.

The New York City Hatzolah is served by a central dispatching network designed to deal with the very large volume of calls received each day. Dispatchers are highly trained teams consisting of 2 volunteers working in tandem who: answer the phones; provide immediate first aid advice where necessary; and dispatch by radio the appropriate number and level of first responders, medics and ambulances using a state-of-the-art computerized system for tracking cases and assignments. Each dispatch team works several hours on a shift, and must be capable of making quick decisions calmly under pressure, while communicating clearly with the volunteers in the field. Hatzolah of New York also uses a mobile command center for dealing with larger events.

New York City chapters include Boro Park, Canarsie/Mill Basin, Crown Heights
Crown Heights, Brooklyn
Crown Heights is a neighborhood in the central portion of the New York City borough of Brooklyn. The main thoroughfare through this neighborhood is Eastern Parkway, a tree-lined boulevard designed by Frederick Law Olmsted extending two miles east-west.Originally, the area was known as Crow Hill....

, Flatbush
Flatbush, Brooklyn
Flatbush is a community of the Borough of Brooklyn, a part of New York City, consisting of several neighborhoods.The name Flatbush is an Anglicization of the Dutch language Vlacke bos ....

, Lower East Side
Lower East Side
The Lower East Side, LES, is a neighborhood in the southeastern part of the New York City borough of Manhattan. It is roughly bounded by Allen Street, East Houston Street, Essex Street, Canal Street, Eldridge Street, East Broadway, and Grand Street....

, Midtown
Midtown Manhattan
Midtown Manhattan, or simply Midtown, is an area of Manhattan, New York City home to world-famous commercial zones such as Rockefeller Center, Broadway, and Times Square...

, [Queens], Richmond, Riverdale
Riverdale, Bronx
Riverdale is an affluent residential neighborhood in the northwest portion of the Bronx in New York City. Riverdale contains the northernmost point in New York City.-History:...

, Rockaways/Lawrence
Lawrence, Nassau County, New York
Lawrence is a village in Nassau County, New York in the USA. As of the United States 2010 Census, the village population was 6,483.The Village of Lawrence is in the southwest corner of the Town of Hempstead, adjoining the border with the New York City borough of Queens to the west and near the...

, Seagate
Seagate, Brooklyn
Sea Gate is a private, gated community at the far western end of Coney Island at the southwestern tip of the New York City borough of Brooklyn. It contains mostly single-family homes, some directly on Gravesend Bay...

, Staten Island
Staten Island
Staten Island is a borough of New York City, New York, United States, located in the southwest part of the city. Staten Island is separated from New Jersey by the Arthur Kill and the Kill Van Kull, and from the rest of New York by New York Bay...

, Upper East Side
Upper East Side
The Upper East Side is a neighborhood in the borough of Manhattan in New York City, between Central Park and the East River. The Upper East Side lies within an area bounded by 59th Street to 96th Street, and the East River to Fifth Avenue-Central Park...

, Upper West Side
Upper West Side
The Upper West Side is a neighborhood in the borough of Manhattan, New York City, that lies between Central Park and the Hudson River and between West 59th Street and West 125th Street...

, Washington Heights
Washington Heights, Manhattan
Washington Heights is a New York City neighborhood in the northern reaches of the borough of Manhattan. It is named for Fort Washington, a fortification constructed at the highest point on Manhattan island by Continental Army troops during the American Revolutionary War, to defend the area from the...

, and Williamsburg
Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Williamsburg is a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Brooklyn, bordering Greenpoint to the north, Bedford-Stuyvesant to the south, Bushwick to the east and the East River to the west. The neighborhood is part of Brooklyn Community Board 1. The neighborhood is served by the NYPD's 90th ...

.

Catskill Mountains
Catskill Mountains
The Catskill Mountains, an area in New York State northwest of New York City and southwest of Albany, are a mature dissected plateau, an uplifted region that was subsequently eroded into sharp relief. They are an eastward continuation, and the highest representation, of the Allegheny Plateau...



The Catskills chapter is part of Central Hatzalah of New York City. While the Catskills have a year-round operation, the vast majority of their activity is in July and August, when summer residents arrive. A plurality (possibly majority) of these residents live in areas covered by NYC Hatzalah ten months of the year. A similar proportion of the Hatzalah EMTs are New York City members, carrying New York City radios, so it is logical for dispatch to use this frequency. However, there are dedicated Catskills dispatchers, who are familiar with the camp, bungalow colony, and hotel locations in the Catskills.

Flatbush

The Flatbush chapter corresponds roughly to "Jewish Flatbush," which is not the same as the Flatbush, Brooklyn
Flatbush, Brooklyn
Flatbush is a community of the Borough of Brooklyn, a part of New York City, consisting of several neighborhoods.The name Flatbush is an Anglicization of the Dutch language Vlacke bos ....

 neighborhood that runs along Flatbush Avenue. As Orthodox Jews began populating Midwood and nearby areas in the 1960s and 1970s, the name Flatbush came into common usage to describe the area, possibly in contrast to East Flatbush, a long-time large Orthodox neighborhood that was declining at the same time.

The Flatbush chapter's primary service area comprises the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Midwood, East Midwood, Madison, and Gravesend. The extended area includes Brighton Beach
Brighton Beach
Brighton Beach is an oceanside neighborhood in the New York City borough of Brooklyn. As of 2000, it has a population of 75,692 with a total of 31,228 households.-Location:...

, Manhattan Beach
Manhattan Beach, Brooklyn
Manhattan Beach is a residential neighborhood in the New York City borough of Brooklyn. It is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the south and east, by Sheepshead Bay on the north, and Brighton Beach to the west. Traditionally known as an Italian and Ashkenazi Jewish neighborhood, it is also home to...

, Ditmas Park, and Kensington, and occasionally Bensonhurst.

Boro Park

The Boro Park chapter's extended service area also includes Kensington and Bensonhurst, as well as Sunset Park
Sunset Park, Brooklyn
Sunset Park is a neighborhood in the western section of the New York City borough of Brooklyn, USA. It is bounded by Greenwood Heights to the north, Borough Park to the east, Bay Ridge to the south, and Upper New York Bay to the west...

. Boro Park also sometimes covers Ditmas Park.

Rockaway/ Lawrence

The Rockaway/ Lawrence chapter originally just covered the Rockaways and Lawrence. As the Orthodox neighborhood increased in numbers and area, the chapter started to cover numerous areas other than their initial community coverage. Currently, the chapter coverage has increased to include the following neighborhoods; Arverne, Atlantic Beach, Bayswater, Belle Harbor, Cedarhurst, East Rockaway, Far Rockaway, Hewlett, Inwood, Kennedy Airport, Lawrence, Long Beach, North Woodmere, Rosedale, and Woodmere.

Riverdale

The Riverdale chapter extends its coverage to parts of Yonkers, in Westchester County. The chapter is also responsible for covering calls in the extended regions of the Bronx as well. Riverdale and Washington Heights share an informal mutual aid agreement on occasions where one area is short-staffed.

Canarsie/Mill Basin

The Canarsie/Mill Basin chapter was originally just the Canarsie division. As the Canarsie Orthodox neighborhood declined, and the Mill Basin one grew, Canarsie started taking more calls and members from nearby Mill Basin, and is now primarily a Mill Basin operation. Canarsie/Mill Basin also covers nearby Georgetown. There are parts of the Brooklyn neighborhood of Mill Basin that border Madison/Midwood/East Midwood, so there is some overlap in coverage with Flatbush.

Rockland County

The Rockland Hatzolah is the only other affiliate umbrella in the New York State outside of NYC Central. A distinct feature of this chapter is its' common fundraising, but several distinct sets of rabbinical oversight. The stratification of rabbinic oversight is primarily due to several large Hasidic communities affiliated with Rockland Hatzolah. Generally, Hasidim always follow the rulings of their sect, with authority vested in the Rebbe (Grand Rabbi of the sect) and Beis Din (Rabbinical Court
Beth din
A beth din, bet din, beit din or beis din is a rabbinical court of Judaism. In ancient times, it was the building block of the legal system in the Biblical Land of Israel...

 of the sect).

New Square

Recently, the Village of New Square, which was previously under the auspices of the Rockland Hatzoloh administration opted to part ways and create their own organization. New Square has also, in an unprecedented move, created a policy in which a group of female CFR's (Certified First Responders) responds to calls which involve OB related emergencies.

Monroe, NY

The Chasidic community in Kiryas Joel (Monroe), NY has a chapter. Uniquely, it operates separately from all other New York State Hatzolah organizations, not affiliating with Central or Rockland.

New Jersey


New Jersey has many Hatzolah organizations throughout the State. Each NJ affiliate maintains its own emergency phone number, dispatchers, and radio frequencies. While they are not officially connected, as with NYC Hatzolah, many of them are nevertheless loosely affiliated, sharing classes or working at each others' events. On occasion, all five divisions have worked together to provide joint event coverage or to share training classes.

Per New Jersey law, volunteers with proper permits may equip their cars with blue flashing lights and electronic airhorns, but not red flashing lights, nor sirens. Coordinators' ("officers'") personal vehicles, and any vehicle owned by a squad with a 'No Fee' license plate, are permitted the use of red flashing lights and sirens; not all branches make use of these allowances. Paramedic (ALS) units in New Jersey are only run by hospitals, per state law. The limitation to BLS is not just for Hatzolah and other volunteer agencies: all New Jersey "911" municipal-run EMS services are also limited to BLS. However, see Lakewood below for a special exception.

State of New Jersey chapters include:

Jersey Shore

Chevra Hatzalah Jersey Shore, primarily serving the Deal area (Deal, West Deal, Long Branch, Eatontown, Alenhurst, Ocean Township), and expanding to cover additional Jersey Shore communities in warmer months. There are a total of seven municipalities covered by Chevra Hatzolah Jersey Shore. This is the only Sephardic-run Hatzalah in the United States. (Mexico City, Mexico also has a Sephardic Hatzalah.)

Elizabeth/Hillside

Hatzalah of Union County, with "U-prefix" unit numbers. Union County is geographically and organizationally separate from Union City. With two active ambulances, "the U" also responds to nearby towns including Linden, Union Township, Roselle and Roselle Park, and even to businesses in Newark where slow EMS response may allow the Hatzalah ambulance to complete the 12-14 minute trip from Elizabeth or Hillside before a Newark city crew arrives. Hatzalah of Union County also covers the Jersey Gardens Mall, Newark Liberty Airport, and nearby stretches of the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway.

Lakewood

The largest branch in New Jersey, with "L-prefix" unit numbers. Unique to New Jersey, Lakewood has a Paramedic (ALS) unit. The ALS unit is owned and run by MONOC, but the Paramedics are also Lakewood Hatzolah members, and the ambulance was donated by Hatzolah Lakewood to MONOC. This unusual arrangement meets New Jersey's strict hospital-based ALS rules, while giving Hatzolah its own ALS coverage. Also unique, Lakewood has its own Rescue (extrication) unit.

Passaic/Clifton

Hatzolah of Passaic/Clifton EMS. The neighboring cities have a contiguous Orthodox Jewish community, with most of the community and its institutions on the Passaic side. Likewise, Hatzolah of Passaic/Clifton, with "P-prefix" unit numbers, covers both parts of the community, but is primarily based in Passaic, with some members and management in Clifton. This Hatzolah is geographically near Union City, and can provide extra coverage for them. Hatzolah of Passaic/Clifton has 30 active members, 20 dispatchers, two active ambulances and a third on standby, for a community of about 2,000 households.

Union City

Hatzolah of Union City, is run out of Yeshivas Sanz-Klausenberg, which is the center of the Chasidic community in Union City. It is the only Chasidic Hatzolah in New Jersey. Union City is located in Hudson County, and is not related to Union County. Union City uses VHF radios, while all other New Jersey chapters use UHF radios.

Connecticut


Waterbury, CT
Waterbury, Connecticut
Waterbury is a city in New Haven County, Connecticut, on the Naugatuck River, 33 miles southwest of Hartford and 77 miles northeast of New York City...


The Orthodox community in Waterbury, CT
Waterbury, Connecticut
Waterbury is a city in New Haven County, Connecticut, on the Naugatuck River, 33 miles southwest of Hartford and 77 miles northeast of New York City...

, centered around the yeshiva there, has its own Hatzolah.

California


Los Angeles has a Hatzolah chapter which provides BLS
Basic life support
Basic life support is the level of medical care which is used for patients with life-threatening illnesses or injuries until the patient can be given full medical care at a hospital. It can be provided by trained medical personnel, including emergency medical technicians, paramedics, and by...

 level care. On August 31, 2009 they began direct transport of patients to area hospitals on board their own ambulance http://matzav.com/hatzolah-of-los-angeles-begins-emergency-transport-of-basic-life-support-patients-in-fairfaxhancock-park-area. Los Angeles Hatzolah relies on the Los Angeles Fire Department
Los Angeles Fire Department
The Los Angeles Fire Department is the agency that provides fire protection and emergency medical services for the city of Los Angeles....

 for ALS
Advanced Life Support
Advanced Life Support is a set of life-saving protocols and skills that extend Basic Life Support to further support the circulation and provide an open airway and adequate ventilation .-Components of ALS:These include:...

 paramedic
Paramedic
A paramedic is a healthcare professional that works in emergency medical situations. Paramedics provide advanced levels of care for medical emergencies and trauma. The majority of paramedics are based in the field in ambulances, emergency response vehicles, or in specialist mobile units such as...

 care and transport. They cover Hancock Park/ Fairfax, Pico-Robertson/Beverlywood/Beverly Hills, and Valley Village/ North Hollywood.

Maryland
Maryland
Maryland is a U.S. state located in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east...


Baltimore started a Hatzolah in 2007 as a first-responder-only service with transport to be done by Baltimore City ambulance units. They are planning to add transport services with the blessing of the Baltimore City Fire Department, but a start date has not been publicly announced.

Florida
Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...


Hatzalah of Miami-Dade began operation in January 2010. It provide direct BLS
Basic life support
Basic life support is the level of medical care which is used for patients with life-threatening illnesses or injuries until the patient can be given full medical care at a hospital. It can be provided by trained medical personnel, including emergency medical technicians, paramedics, and by...

 response, but no transport; Hatzalah relies on Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department is the combined fire and emergency services department for Miami-Dade County, Florida. Its headquarters are in Doral....

 Miami Beach Fire Rescue Department for ALS
Advanced Life Support
Advanced Life Support is a set of life-saving protocols and skills that extend Basic Life Support to further support the circulation and provide an open airway and adequate ventilation .-Components of ALS:These include:...

 paramedic
Paramedic
A paramedic is a healthcare professional that works in emergency medical situations. Paramedics provide advanced levels of care for medical emergencies and trauma. The majority of paramedics are based in the field in ambulances, emergency response vehicles, or in specialist mobile units such as...

 care and transport. The only Hatzalah service in Florida, it cover areas of unincorporated North East Miami-Dade County, as well as select portions of the city of North Miami Beach and the city of Aventura
Aventura, Florida
Aventura is a planned, suburban city located in northeastern Miami-Dade County, Florida. The city name is from the Spanish word for "adventure", and was named "Aventura" after one of the developers of the original group of condominiums in the area remarked to the others, "What an adventure this is...

. Hatzalah of Miami-Dade operates under the auspices of the South Florida Orthodox Rabbinical Council. During its two-year development, it received organizing assistance from members of many other U.S. Hatzolah branches. 7-1-2011: Hatzalah of Miami-Dade is currently training additional members living in the areas of Aventura Miami Beach, Surfside and Bal Harbour.

Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...


Hatzalah Chicago is in formation stage, training its first team of emergency medical technicians. Planned coverage area includes Lincolnwood, Peterson Park, Skokie, and West Rogers Park.

Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...


Philadelphia's Hatzolah has limited service, providing first responder aid only in the Northeast area. Hatzolah of Philadelphia transports are provided by calling in either Patriot Ambulance, or, when the situation warrants, 9-1-1. Patriot Ambulance is a local paid ambulance service owned by a community member. Its owner has also provided Philadelphia Hatzolah with financial assistance, training, and medical guidance to ensure excellence and continuity in patient care. Philadelphia has nine responders, all state certified. Some members are full-time professional EMTs or Paramedics.

Mexico


Mexico City Hatzalah was founded in 1997 by Rabbi Chaim Silver. The branch is run by the Syrian-Sephardic community. It has 70 full time volunteers, seven ambulances and six locations (five bases and a headquarters). It also has access to a helicopter and air transport. All dispatchers are certified Medics for immediate intervention and instructions. The branch covers the Jewish areas of Tecamachalco, Bosques, Polanco, Interlomas, and the weekend resort city Cuernavaca.

Canada


In Canada, there are Hatzolah chapters in Toronto Ontario, Montreal, and the Hasidic community of Kiryas Tosh
Kiryas Tosh
Kiryas Tosh is a Hasidic Jewish community in the town of Boisbriand, Quebec. It is affiliated with the Tosh Hasidic Dynasty. The community is home to approximately 350 families, or about 3,000 people. -History:...

.

Europe


Hatzolah chapters are located in England (London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, Manchester
Manchester
Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England. According to the Office for National Statistics, the 2010 mid-year population estimate for Manchester was 498,800. Manchester lies within one of the UK's largest metropolitan areas, the metropolitan county of Greater...

 and Gateshead
Gateshead
Gateshead is a town in Tyne and Wear, England and is the main settlement in the Metropolitan Borough of Gateshead. Historically a part of County Durham, it lies on the southern bank of the River Tyne opposite Newcastle upon Tyne and together they form the urban core of Tyneside...

); Antwerp, BE; and in Zurich.

Israel



Hatzolah Israel is the original Hatzolah in Israel. Ichud Hatzolah is another umbrella organization
Umbrella organization
An umbrella organization is an association of institutions, who work together formally to coordinate activities or pool resources. In business, political, or other environments, one group, the umbrella organization, provides resources and often an identity to the smaller organizations...

, formed in 2006, mostly with chapters that had been part of Hatzolah Israel. Other regions still recognize the older organization, and a court injunction has barred United Hatzalah from certain activities.

Each of the two Israeli central organizations has many local chapters, close to 1,000 volunteers apiece, and provides coordinated response for larger emergencies or extra coverage across multiple localities.

See also

  • List of Hatzolah chapters
  • Shomrim
    Shomrim (volunteers)
    Shomrim are licensed organizations of volunteer Jewish civilian patrols which have been set up in Hasidic and Haredi neighborhoods in the United States and England to combat burglary, vandalism, mugging, assault, domestic violence, nuisance crimes, and antisemitic attacks. They also help locate...

     and Shmira ( "custodian" or "guardian" ) citizen patrol organizations
  • Chaverim (literally, "Friends") roadside assistance squads
  • ZAKA
    ZAKA
    ZAKA , is a series of voluntary community emergency response teams in Israel, each operating in a police district . These organizations are officially recognized by the government...

    Zihuy Korbanot Ason, literally: "Disaster Victim Identification")

External links