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Hatzolah Of LA Can No Longer Use ‘Lights & Sirens’ & Transport Patients

FIRST REPORT 12:35PM EST: 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

(Click on image to ENLARGE letter)

(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)

12 Responses

  1. The letter is not clear which local agency requested they stop using lights and sirens. It does not specify the CHP. In fact local implies city or county not state. Do you have information that it was in fact the CHP?

    I hope this gets resolved quickly for everyone’s benefit.

    Edited by Moderator.

  2. If they are a licensed Ambulance Service Provider, then they are allowed to transport and use lights and sirens. It seems that Hatzolah is giving in to the government’s request, but they have the legal right to transport and use lights and sirens.

  3. TweetTweet, do you know CA Laws?

    i believe it says that only the Primary Provider can respond with lights and sirens. in los angeles (the city itself) that is LA Fire.

    there are exceptions. ie if during a transport the patient starts deteriorating and such…

    Hatzolah is Working on fixing the situation and hopefully it will be resolved soon.

  4. This could result in frum residents calling only Hatzolah and not calling 911 at all. I don’t think that’s what they had in mind. The city probably think they’ll get more money if only they do transporting.

  5. Time for the folks in LaLa Land to write NICE letters/emails/faxes to their govt officials explaining why the organization is needed.

  6. Did they ban everyone from using lights and sirens, or at least everyone other than the government? Or did they ban lonly Hatzolah but not other non-governmental groups that are allowed to use lights and sirens? The former situation suggests a general rule that is probably based on a variety of considerations (many argue that ambulances are more likely to crash when they ignore traffic rules even with lights and sirens, and therefore should simply follow traffic rules). The later suggests a discrimination issue.

  7. Wow! Where does the Governor stand on this. Any efforts by licensed emergency service providers should be done as expeditiously as possible.

  8. In many states, public emergency services such as EMS are able to bill patients and their insurances, but only if they transport the patient to the hospital. Hatzalah doing the transporting may be a big money loser for these services.

  9. As I recall, they used to have a problem with various ambulance services rushing to beat each other to the job (you only got money if you transported). This led to accidents, fights, and other problems. That’s why they limited “RLS” (red lights and siren) to the primary response agency.
    There may be a legal issue based on problems from decades ago. Let’s hope they can resolve this quickly and amicably.

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