Featured Sheriff and Mrs. Baca, with Hatzolah LA Team

About Hatzolah of Los Angeles

By Hatzolah Staff Writer

HATZOLAH [hats-o-la = Hebrew for Rescue] of Los Angeles is a non-profit corporation with the primary mandate to assist in emergency medical situations until the proper county & city resources arrive. To that end, our volunteers have been trained and certified by School of Emergency Medical Training and the Health Department of Los Angeles County as Emergency Medical Technicians. Hatzolah has formed a Rabbinical & Medical Advisory Board consisting of distinguished Rabbis & Physicians from the community.

With the support and endorsement of our community Rabbinical & Medical advisory panel, thirty individuals of our community have undergone extensive training, testing and certification over the past two years. As part of their course of study, all the volunteers have been trained to provide Basic Life Support, Cardiac Pulmonary Resuscitation and the use of oxygen and trauma medical equipment. Additionally, all Hatzolah volunteers have been trained and certified by the American Heart Association in the use of the most valuable life-saving technology available today; the Automatic External Defibrillator (AED).

Today, these volunteers comprise Hatzolah of Los Angeles, a unified body of Emergency Medical Technicians, trained and equipped with life saving skills and equipment, governed by strict protocols, ready to respond to any medical emergency. HATZOLAH is not a substitute or alternative to the already existing 911 L.A.F.D. EMS system. The purpose of Hatzolah is to provide a lifesaving bridge during the few critical moments is takes the L.A.F.D. Paramedics to arrive.

Our volunteer corps primarily consists of individuals that are employed and spend most of their time in the community, such as schools, houses of worship and local businesses and are many times on an emergency scene within seconds. They must have a proven and verified track record of community participation and community service. All volunteers must be a minimum of 21 years of age and reside in the community. All Hatzolah personnel are volunteers on their own time. No one is paid for any services.

Hatzolah is necessary to our community because of the uniqueness of the Jewish community in areas such as language and cultural issues. Since our community consists of many Holocaust survivors and language may be a barrier (many do not speak English well), our volunteers are required to understand and speak three languages. Our volunteers speak English, Spanish, Hebrew, & Yiddish. Additionally, on the Jewish Sabbath (Saturday), there are many Halachot (Jewish laws) in regard to medical issues, and Orthodox Jewish patients, may neglect their health out of ignorance of what Halacha allows or forbids. For this reason the Hatzolah volunteers are extensively trained in the Halachic guidelines of the Sabbath & Jewish law in general.

Hatzolah equips volunteers with Life-saving equipment such as, Oxygen, Airway management devices, Trauma equipment and A.E.D.’s (Automatic Defibrillators). Additionally, all volunteers are equipped with advanced two-way radio communications.

An emergency response by Hatzolah is activated as follows: 1) A community member having a medical emergency at home or place of business, will call 911 and then call Hatzolah, who will dispatch volunteer first responders to the emergency scene. Since Hatzolah volunteers work and live in the community, they may well arrive at the emergency scene prior to 911, and begin providing emergency medical assistance until 911 emergency crews arrive, or 2) A Chevras Hatzolah volunteer witnesses an emergency medical situation (i.e. choking in a restaurant, person collapsing etc.), the volunteer will initiate the chain of survival by A) Calling 911, B) Notifying Hatzolah Dispatch (H-Base) of the emergency, and C) begin trained life saving techniques. H-Base will then ascertain that 911 has been notified and dispatch additional volunteers, as needed, to the scene. Upon arrival of city and/or county emergency services there is an immediate transfer of patient care.

Our dispatch center is located in the community and is staffed by trained Hatzolah Volunteers around the clock. We are available to the community 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In the event of a countywide emergency (i.e. earthquake, disaster etc.) our volunteers are trained to assist and provide medical relief.

All funding for Hatzolah is by private solicitation & donation. No city, county, state or federal funds are used or requested. Community members assisted by Hatzolah are not charged any fees for this service. It is strictly a volunteer and community based free service. We do not bill insurance carriers or third parties for any of our services.

Our coverage area currently includes the following geographical area in the City of Los Angeles: Fairfax Avenue (West), Olympic Blvd. (South), Willoughby Avenue (North), Rossmore Avenue (East). This area is about two square miles and is known as Hancock Park, Beverly-La Brea, Park La Brea, Part of the Mid-Wilshire area & part of the Fairfax district.

We are committed to working with the County & City Emergency Services as partners in Emergency Medicine and Rescue. Our goal is to develop interactive protocols to ensure appropriate response, chain of command & quality service.

Our goal is to save lives and improve the quality of life in our community. Hatzolah will be pro active in the community, by educating the community on safety issues such as fire safety, traffic safety, & home safety. We will offer training to the community- in basic first-aid and C.P.R., by American Red Cross certified instructors.