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Copyright 2007 Hatzolah of Boro Park. All rights reserved
Chevra Hatzalah, the largest volunteer ambulance service in the United States, was founded over thirty years ago, and operates throughout the City of New York and environs, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Chevra Hatzalah is a not-for-profit corporation that is certified by the New York State Department of Health to provide emergency medical care and ambulance transport. Run by an "army" of one thousand professional emergency care providers, Chevra Hatzalah (better known as "Hatzalah", translated as emergency rescue) is more than just a 24-hour emergency medical service. It is an absolute and total commitment to the sanctity of life, the embodiment of the 2,000-year-old tradition, "Whoever saves even one life, it is as if he saved an entire world.".

The BORO PARK Coverage Area
We cover the Boro Park, Bensonhurst, Sea Gate, Bay Ridge, Park Slope. From the water at Downtown Brooklyn (1st Avenue) south, extending till McDonald Avenue north. From Church Avenue going east till Sheepshead Bay.

Emergency Medical Services
Chevra Hatzalah provides premium quality pre-hospital life saving treatment and transportation absolutely free of charge to anyone who calls, regardless of race, religion or ethnicity. Hatzalah currently responds to over 70,000 calls annually. Every one of Hatzalah's one thousand responders, ranging from EMT's to paramedics and doctors, is a volunteer. Hatzalah members must complete a rigorous New York State Dept. of Health training program in emergency medical care, and must be re-certified every three years. In addition to emergency medical treatment and ambulance transport, Hatzalah also provides additional support to the patient and their families by linking up with various social services, medical referral organizations, bikur cholim societies (who visit the sick and provide services to their families), blood banks and other related services. Hatzalah also engages in extensive safety prevention and public education programs.     

Legendary Response Time
According to the cover story in U.S. News & World Report, the crucial issue in evaluating any emergency medical service is "standard response time" - how long it takes an ambulance to respond in 90% of its calls. "The Hatzalah ambulance service, which covers most of New York City [and parts of Nassau, Rockland, Ulster and Sullivan counties] boasts response time of 2 1/2 to four minutes... Hatzalah is one of the largest U.S. volunteer ambulance services."
Hatzalah has a revolutionary computer aided dispatch system (NESS), which provides Hatzalah dispatchers with vital technical assistance, including caller location identification, computerized digital mapping and tracking, instant retrieval to prior history records, and the ability to manage numerous calls simultaneously. The NESS system also can provide dispatchers with computer prompted pre-arrival instructions until help arrives at the scene.  New enhancements that are being planned include the installation of mobile data terminals aboard the ambulance fleet with GPS navigation systems, along with a state-of-the-art ACR computer tablets with mobile two way links between the dispatcher and the ambulances.   

Two-Tiered Response System
Hatzalah operates a two-level system of first responders and ambulances. Volunteers are dispatched by Hatzalah central command to respond to the scene of an emergency with their own vehicles that are designated by the State Department of Health and Department of Motor Vehicles as "authorized emergency vehicles" and outfitted with lights and sirens in order to respond to emergencies as quickly as possible.   Hatzalah volunteers are equipped with a full complement of medical gear, including an oxygen resuscitation system, an automatic cardiac defibrillator, blood pressure cuffs, extensive trauma kits,  stethoscope, burn kits, OB kits, nebulizers and EPI-pens, glucose and more. Hatzalah paramedics provide advanced life support, including 12 lead EKG monitoring with external cardiac pacing capabilities, intubation for advanced airway management, pulse oximeters, and an extensive array of first-line drugs, medications and IV sets.  

Hatzalah paramedics contact designated and specially trained emergency room physicians for medical control and provide the hospital staff with critical data to expedite an emergency room full standby request. At the same time that the first responders are rushing to the scene, another Hatzalah volunteer is dispatched to pick up one of Hatzalah's sixty ambulances that are spread out throughout the region.  This combined strategy enables Hatzalah to deliver a trained EMT or paramedic to an emergency in record-breaking time.  Hatzalah volunteers drop everything and leave for emergency calls from their jobs, their homes, and their sleep.

Holocaust Survivor Services
Hatzalah is uniquely trained to service the Holocaust survivor population, who have placed their trust, dependence and hope in the hands of Hatzalah personnel, most of them children of Holocaust survivors, to serve them in their hour of need and provide "caring care". Special sensitivity training, as well as language and social interaction, enables the Hatzalah volunteer to alleviate much of the anxiety and fears that many Holocaust survivors experience during an emergency crises. Over the years, the Conference on Jewish Material Claims has assisted Hatzalah in maintaining its level of eminence as the leader in the field of pre-hospital medical care for the Holocaust survivor population.

Financial Needs:
Hatzalah depends solely on private donations: individual, communal; corporate and foundation gifts. All funding goes directly towards rescue operations. Administrative costs are kept at a bare minimum, with a skeletal staff managing the entire operation. Hatzalah does not bill insurance companies for any of their services, and is not subsidized by any Federal, State or local government funding. Dispatch and response operations are performed around the clock free of charge. They are not, however, without cost: Hatzalah operates a fleet of over 90 ambulances to cover the New York region. Fully equipped high-risk ambulances range from $150,000 to $ 250,000 each. It costs $36,000 to equip each of Hatzalah's 300 paramedics with 12 lead Life pack Cardiac/Monitor defibrillators, intubations kits and medical drug boxes. It costs $ 8,000 to equip each of Hatzalah's 1,200 emergency medical technicians with portable oxygen resuscitators, automatic defibrillators, two-way radios and trauma kits. Hatzalah's radio communication system statewide costs $500,000 annually. Each advanced life support call can cost hundreds of dollars in first-line drugs and medical supplies. Chevra Hatzalah is a not-for-profit corporation, and is a qualified tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.