ט"ו אייר התשפ"ד
23.05.2024

In middle of fast and blistering heat: Who saved assistant?

At a press conference the assistant of candidate for mayor of New York collapsed • Contacting urban rescue did not help - ambulance did not arrive • then Hatzala volunteers popped up

Illustration photo: Kobi Har Tzvi
Illustration photo: Kobi Har Tzvi



Once again it was proved that the efficiency and resourcefulness of members of the haredi Hatzala organizations in the United States stand above all others, and sometimes they also get to make a Kiddush Hashem, which turns into talk of the media.

Yesterday, in the afternoon of Tisha B'Av, the temperature climbed in New York and came to about 100 degrees Fahrenheit (about 38 Celsius). In Manhattan a joint press conference was held on the street, in which one of the council members serving in the municipality was standing alongside Christine Quinn, one of the contenders for mayor of New York, in the elections to be held in November, and they presented their views to the public.

Due to the hot weather, Quinn's assistant did not feel well- and suddenly collapsed. Quimn called immediately 911 and alerted the municipal rescue. The dispatcher at the other end promised to send an ambulance as soon as possible. Precious minutes passed and the ambulance was slow to arrive. Quimn tried to call again and again, and the promises were repeated too, but no actual ambulance. In despair, the candidate called the police commander and complained to him about the degradation of human life on behalf of the urban rescue system.

By Divine Providence, one of the commander's Jewish aides was next to him. He did not lose time and after ensuring the venue, called Hatzala organization of Williamsburg. Within four minutes after the call, three haredi volunteers who were in the midst of the fast showed up, and gave first aid to the unconscious woman. She was taken by them quickly to the nearest hospital.

Quinn, who did not know where the prompt assistance had come from, innocently thought these were the 911 local volunteers. She was sure that only the desperate phone she made to the chief of police, shortened the time of help. She hurried to media interviews, and complained about the ineffectiveness of the emergency services and the fact that only the intervention of the police chief had shortened the proceedings. "It is an unparalleled scandal," she cried and promised to address the issue urgently. The media had already started to point a finger at the negligence of the emergency and rescue services. "It's impossible that the municipality pays for the rescue forces for these calls and in fact failures are recorded one after another," stated the different speakers and interviewers.

The reason for the long delay as it turned out, was precisely due to progress. The emergency services in New York, implemented a new computerized telecommunications designed to route the calls to rescue and police, according to different parameters. But this system has already managed to miss a number of urgent calls. Several residents who needed urgent help, had died until an ambulance arrived.

Emergency services spokesmen, who were asked to respond to Quinn, apologized that they understood from the call of the caller, that there is no real danger to life and therefore preferred to send ambulances to places of higher priority. "We direct the rescue forces according to reports of callers. In the present case, we were not particularly impressed that this is an urgent call and we placed it in secondary priority."

Only after several hours, Quinn learned that those who actually saved her assistant, were none other than avreichim volunteers who are not affiliated to official rescue services of New York. When she learned that they even rushed to the scene in the midst of oppressive heat and exhausting fasting, her admiration increased and she praised the organization from every platform. "Well done to the haredim on the important job they did. Particularly that this is on a voluntary basis. We will never forget this," she promised.
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art

'בחדרי' גם ברשתות החברתיות - הצטרפו!

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