Can you please introduce yourself and explain your role within Hatzolah?
I oversee the organization at a corporate level & am deeply involved in strategic aspects; expansion, managing our buildings, and ensuring our ambulance fleet remains robust. Additionally, I serve on the State Board of EMS, and I am one of the Ocean County EMS Coordinators, engage with legal matters, and take responsibility for the technical infrastructure of Hatzolah, including our radio and emergency communication systems.
Hatzolah CJ has been growing by leaps and bounds, can you elaborate
When I joined Hatzolah a decade ago, there were 50 volunteers & 5 ambulances covering the town of Lakewood. Fast forward, we've grown to a fleet of 15 ambulances and 6 paramedic vehicles covering 5 towns. We add new members on a consistent basis to cover the ever- growing population, and will soon be bringing our total to nearly 200 members. With 4 ambulances on order and 4 more in the pipeline, our growth is truly exponential.
Why the need for 8 more ambulances?
There’s always a need to keep our fleet updated, and the expansion of our community into surrounding areas has necessitated the need for additional vehicles. Hatzolah deploys at least two volunteers directly to a scene. Additional members will respond to the call if needed, with the nearest available ambulance. To that end, we need to ensure that our vehicles are strategically positioned to optimize response times, thus the need for more and more vehicles.
How does Hatzolah effectively manage the remarkable growth of our community?
It is indeed challenging, but we always prioritize medical and strategic needs over financial concerns. We don’t hesitate when it comes to procuring essential resources. We operate on a philosophy of “act now, finance later.” Our unwavering mission is to ensure the safety and well-being of our community.
That’s incredible, it gives me a sense of security. Surely a question on everyone’s mind, why does each member need all that equipment?
Great question. An otherwise healthy individual suffered a cardiac incident while on court. Within a mere 35 seconds, 3 EMT’s and 2 paramedics were on scene, and in under 2 minutes he was connected to a LifePak and was ready to be shocked back to life. Bechasdei Hashem, with our members’ swift action and with the cutting edge equipment Hatzolah purchases, we revived him in just 3 minutes.
Just recently, Hatzolah responded to a choking incident. A paramedic neighbor was on the scene in under 15 seconds, armed with all necessary equipment to save the child’s life. ALL OF OUR paramedics are equipped with the most advanced equipment, underscoring the significance of having resources readily available.
What drives Hatzolah to do what it does?
Our members are completely dedicated to delivering the best possible care and response times, putting aside personal needs. The Hatzolah wives and families get a tremendous amount of credit for allowing them to do their avodas hakodesh, at all hours of the day or night, Shabbos, Yom Tov, sometimes simchos and more. For this we are eternally grateful. Hatzolah’s motivation is also deeply rooted in our unwavering commitment to the medical and strategic needs of our community. We don’t allow financial constraints to dictate our actions. Whether it’s investing in rigorous training, acquiring costly essential equipment, or hiring Shabbos drivers, our top priority is safeguarding the well-being of our community.
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