As Ida struck the Tri-State area last night, thousands of people instinctively reached out to major Chesed organizations Hatzolah, Shomrim and Chaverim for assistance in various types of emergencies. These organization have proven themselves once again to be the backbone of the Tri-State area Orthodox Jewish communities.
Dozens upon dozens of elderly victims were rescued by volunteers from the above three organizations from flooded basements and taken to safety.
Chaverim and Shomrim helped hundreds of residents pump water out of their basements. They responded to hundreds of calls for standard motorists, who were frightened and crying as they abandoned their vehicles in strange areas with no one to help them.
Our communities owe a debt of Hakoras Hatov not only to the hundreds of volunteers who responded to these emergencies in the deadly weather – risking their own lives at many times to save others, but the dispatchers who fielded these thousands of phone calls. Working under intense pressure and trying to keep people calm, these dispatchers triaged and dispatched the high-priority calls first.
The following numbers were put together by YWN after speaking to many organizations:
- Central Hatzolah (covering the entire NYC) received over 350 emergency medical calls in just a few hours.
- Shomrim in NYC (separate hotlines for Williamsburg, Boro Park, Flatbush, Crown Heights, Far Rockaway) had around 2,000 calls.
- Chaverim of NYC (and Catskills) had 1,300 calls.
- Rockland Chaverim answered nearly 1,100 calls for help.
- In Kiryas Joel, Chaverim responded to around 350 calls.
- Lakewood had around 150 calls.
That is a whopping 5,200 calls in just a few hours!
In Williamsburg, the sheer number of call volume was so overwhelming, that Chaveirim of Lakewood dispatched a crew of ten volunteers to travel to Williamsburg with heavy equipment to assist local residents. The Lakewood volunteers were in Williamsburg until 5:00AM.
(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)