Hatzalah of Union County NJ Suspends Operations Due To COVID-19

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We hope this letter finds you and your families well. Your health, and the health of our dedicated members are very important to us.

Effective today at 11 pm (Wednesday, March 25, 2020) Hatzalah of Union County will temporarily suspend all operations and will not respond to any calls until such time as it is deemed safe to resume.

Over the past two weeks, our call volume has nearly doubled due to COVID-19 calls, and as such, our members have been exposed to the virus when they respond to such calls despite taking preventive measures.

When this occurs, there is the danger of spreading infection to the members, their families and the community. The members who respond to these calls must also be out of commission for a period of time. In addition, there are members who either have underlying medical conditions themselves, or who have family members, for whom any exposure could prove severe or worse. As a result, our responder roster has been severely reduced and continues to decline.

Accordingly, following discussions with our Medical Director and with our local Rabbinical leaders, we have decided to suspend all operations temporarily until it is deemed safe to resume.

Anyone who feels ill is encouraged to speak to their doctors and anyone needing emergency medical services should call 911.

The safety and well-being of our community and our dedicated members and their families continues to be our primary concern. We will be monitoring the status of COVID-19 nationally and within our community and will keep you up-to-date regarding our plans to resume operations as usual.

Sincerely,

Hatzalah of Union County Board of Directors & Coordinators
March 25, 2020 Erev Rosh Chodesh Nisan

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3 COMMENTS

  1. What about the other first responders? Is it ok to expose them and potentially their families and communities? This is somewhat selfish. If you sign up to be a first responder you can’t choose to not work when the community is in need.

  2. “You can’t”?! What do they owe you? Are they on your payroll? How about saying: “Thank you so much for all the volunteering you have done till now, day and night”? Sheesh. Attitude…

  3. Swings, I echo what Geula said. Hatzalahs are generally made up of many volunteers. From what I understand from various Hatzalahs across the US is that there is that of recent there has been an element of over-utilization, from often unnecessary call from this horrific pandemic. I recall reading that Hatzalah that if one suspects they have mild symptoms of Coronavirus then the best advise is to reach out to your own primary care doctor or personal physician. Because there is no medical cure for Coronavirus at the moment, there really is little Hatzalah can do (with the assumption that you aren’t in need of life-threatening urgent emergency medical care at an ER). Also, it becomes debatable whether you are causing yourself and others to be michalel Shabbos for calling Hatzalah with mild symptoms. So, I’d think it’s a wise idea to make sure that our fellow gracious Hatzalah members remain safe, are saving attention for emergencies which are appropriate to be handled urgently, and aren’t attending calls on shabbos which proved to be something where they just turn the ambulance around back to base.

    {from a previous YWN article from Hatzolah in early March “If you develop symptoms such as fever, cough, sneezing, etc. PLEASE STAY AT HOME! Please do not go to shul. Please do not go to work. Please do not go to the stores. If you have mild symptoms it is not necessary to call Hatzalah. Contact your doctor for guidance. Often, your doctors’ recommendations will be to stay at home, rest, take Tylenol or Motrin (Ibuprofen/Advil) for fever, and drink plenty of fluids. If you develop severe symptoms such as trouble breathing or severe weakness, Hatzalah is prepared to care for you. “}