Dear Yeshivaworld, I was hoping you would post my letter since I feel that lives are on the line. I was informed about an incident which occurred earlier this week in the town of Fallsburg (Sullivan County / Catskill Mountains) – which I find to be quite troubling, and of utmost importance to the summer residents in the area who might need the services of Hatzolah.
Perhaps there are other versions of this incident, but the following is the way it was told to me: The incident began when Hatzolah was called to a serious car accident in front of Camp Bais Rochel on Pleasant Valley Road (Tuesday evening July 3rd). Hatzolah EMT’s arrived and began treating the patient. Hatzolah Paramedics arrived seconds later and began their treatment as well. It was obvious that they were EMT’s and paramedics from their fluorescent yellow vests that they are notorious to be seen wearing at Hatzolah calls – which clearly say what rank they are.
The patient was pinned (trapped) in the vehicle and the Hatzolah members had their dispatcher call 911 for the fire department to respond for an extrication.
Shortly after the fire department arrived, a local (commercial) ambulance company arrived and started making a commotion that “they are in charge, and Hatzolah has no rights to the patient”. Things spiraled down-hill from there – when the fire department told Hatzolah that they would not proceed to extricate the patient from the vehicle unless they leave the scene!
Wait there is more…….
The Fallsburg Police Department then told Hatzolah to please leave the scene at once.
Not wanting to cause a Chillul Hashem, the members left the scene.
When I was informed of this story today, I quickly did some research and found some troubling facts.
Hatzolah is a licensed NYS ambulance service – which is legally allowed to operate in Sullivan County – as is the local ambulance company. The law also states that whichever ambulance company is on the scene is in charge. In this case, the highest possible ranking person was on the scene; (paramedics).
This gives the local ambulance company no right to decide that they control the scene.
What is even more troubling is the fact the the police department had the gall to make Hatzolah stop treating the patient and leave the scene, and the fire department threaten not to extricate the patient until they leave.
Just imagine the scene: A person is trapped in a vehicle, secondary to a major car accident. He is being treated in a professional manner by NYS certified paramedics. They are waiting for the fire department to cut the car apart to be able to immobilize him and transport him to the hospital. A medevac is placed on standby. The next thing you know the paramedics are stopped from treating their patient!
This is insanity!
I am a resident in the town of Fallsburg (who pays taxes all year). I also voted for Mr. Steven Levine as the town supervisor – who promised us the world. I would like YW to please post his phone numbers at the Fallsburg Township building so that people can call and demand an explanation.
People should call the Fallsburg PD as well to voice their outrage.
Why are we being silent, when the next live might be YOURS?!
I have also heard that Hatzolah is filing a huge complaint with the state against the ambulance company in question, as well as the Fallsburg PD.
Sincerely, a concerned individual.
Town Supervisor: Steven J. Levine
Email Address: [email protected]
Mailing Address : P.O. Box 830, South Fallsburg, N. Y. 12779 Phone Number : (845) 434-8812 Fax Number : (845) 434-8835
Editors Note: Yeshivaworld has made numerous attempts to contact a representative of Catskills Hatzolah to verify this individuals story – and was unsuccessful. .
Photo above is NOT a picture of the above incident, rather an image of the yellow Hatzolah vests which the above writer is referring to.