“HATZOLAH”, ” CALL HATZOLAH”, “SHE’S CHOKING” ANYBODY KNOW FIRST AID”…Were the screams of dozens of women last night at a Melaveh Malka at Talmud Torah Bais Avrohom after a women choked on her food. At approximately 10:00 p.m., dozens of horrified women looked on and dialed Hatzolah as the woman was noticeably turning colors. Hatzolah immediately dispatched BLS (Basic Life Support) and ALS (Advanced Life Support) / Paramedic units. A few minutes later, the first Hatzolah member-a BLS unit-arrived at the Yeshivah, located on New Hamsphire Avenue and Route 70, while hundreds were saying Tehillim and many hysterically crying, according to several witnesses. “We thought she was going to die” one witness told TLS.
Moments after the member arrived, the object in the women’s throat was cleared and she began crying. Hatzolah Paramedics arrived shortly afterwards and transported the woman to Kimball Medical Center.
Accusations, blame and finger-pointing immediately followed the horrific incident, claiming “It took between 10-15 minutes for the first Hatzolah member to arrive”, and “How could they not have available members”?
As posted last night, Hatzolah had held a Melaveh Malkah as new Captains were being elected. The Melaveh Malka-which took place at the Heathwood Garage-was attended by many members and the closest member-a new member-was mobile on Pine Street at the time the call came out.
TLS contacted Haztolah this morning, in an effort to obtain facts of the frantic calls and what followed. We met with two senior Hatzolah members who had given us the following facts from the incident:
1) Approximately 30 calls were placed for the same emergency.
2) Hatzolah did not receive accurate information as to where the call was-with some stating it to be at Route 88 and New Hampshire.
3) Four Hatzolah dispatchers were handling the call.
4) One dispatcher, a Paramedic, remained on the phone instructing a caller emergency procedures to be performed, until two minutes after the first unit arrived on scene.
5) The first responder arrived in under four minutes.
6) Medics arrived in under six minutes.
They also had the following message for the community: Should a situation as the above present itself in the future, we ask you to please move into a quiet area so the dispatcher can get clear and accurate information. Also, if you see several people calling Hatzolah, do not flood the lines with the same call, as it causes confusion.
And finally, if you believe Hatzolah did not act appropriately or you wish to express concern with the way things are handled, please contact a Captain, the Hatzolah office or your Rov, who will then reach out to the appropriate parties so that the matter can be resolved in a proper manner.
Please note: TLS did not immediately publish the story until all details were able to be verified.