Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Hatzolah Of LA Can No Longer Use ‘Lights & Sirens’ & Transport Patients
The following is a letter from Hatzolah of Los Angeles to the entire community:
Hatzolah of Los Angeles has been responding to the emergency medical needs of our community since 2001. We currently respond in the Beverly/La Brea, Pico/Robertson and Valley Village areas.
Our primary goal is to bridge the time gap between an emergency incident and the arrival of the Los Angeles Fire Department. Hatzolah dispatches LA County certified EMTs, trained to respond to medical emergencies and disaster situations. In addition, during emergencies, Hatzolah assists in overcoming the language barriers and cultural needs of our community. Hatzolah has interfaced with LAFD on thousands of calls, providing patient care with compassion, while garnering the respect and support of our government agencies.
In 2006, Hatzolah became a licensed Ambulance Service Provider by the California Highway Patrol. With this license we were able to respond to emergencies with lights and sirens and substantially reduce our response time.
Recently, certain local government agencies have, contrary to their longstanding acceptance of Hatzolah as a part of the area’s emergency care system, seemingly changed their views about our role in this system. At their request, Hatzolah recently ceased responding with lights and sirens or providing ambulance transport until we can more fully explore their positions about our role in the system. We are currently working with these agencies, as well as reviewing applicable laws and regulations, with a dedicated team of professionals, community leaders and government officials to determine Hatzolah’s role and legal rights with regard to the local emergency care system.
Hatzolah remains operational, and we are providing private “first response” services to your emergency situations with qualified emergency care personnel in non-ambulance vehicles. Our dispatch lines are answered 24/7 and our responders stand ready to assist at a moment’s notice. We remain vigorously committed to the community’s emergency medical needs.
We will provide additional updates to the community as additional information becomes available. We thank you for your overwhelming support as we work through these issues, and we are working hard to resume full service in the near future.
Zvika Brenner, Chairman
Hatzolah of Los Angeles