There is no need for a local Hatzalah presence in Bergen County (“Englewood to Launch Hatzalah” January 28, 2021).
1) When you call the Hatzalah emergency number, you will be connected to a dispatcher located in another state. When you call 911, you are connected to a dispatcher in your area who is trained in emergency medical dispatch, can immediately see your location and previous call history on the screen and can immediately send the resources that are needed to assist you.
2) When the Hatzalah out-of-state dispatcher sends someone to help you, they will send a guy in a car. No police, no fire, no ambulance, no paramedics. If you need to be taken to a hospital, God forbid, someone will still have to call 911 to obtain these resources, which will lead to a delay in your definitive care.
3) Hatzalah membership is limited to married men. This is an old-fashioned and misogynistic view of the world. An emergency is an emergency. Some of the most qualified and most active members of local volunteer ambulance corps are unmarried and female. What type of message are we sending to 50% of our community?
4) There are existing volunteer ambulance corps that have served our area faithfully and devotedly for decades, without regard for a person’s race, religion or gender. For example, the Teaneck Volunteer Ambulance Corps (TVAC) has been operating since 1939, the Bergenfield Volunteer Ambulance Corps (BVAC) since 1941 and the Englewood Volunteer Ambulance Corps (EVAC) since 1954. Those who are interested in establishing Hatzalah should consider joining these existing organizations instead.
5) The memberships of the local existing volunteer ambulance corps are a veritable melting pot that reflect the diverse makeup of our communities. Jew and non-Jew, Black and white, young and old, everyone works together for the common good. This is exactly what we need to build strong communities.
Anyone who is interested in more information about this topic can reach out to me any time at [email protected]Kevie Feit