There are three more ambulances responding to emergencies in Northwest Baltimore.
As Suzanne Collins reports, they were purchased with private funds, and the paramedics are volunteers from Baltimore’s Jewish community.
A group called Hatzalah, consisting of volunteer paramedics, EMTs and dispatchers, has been responding to medical emergencies in Baltimore’s Jewish community for three years. Now the volunteers no longer have to drive their own cars. The group has three new ambulances.
“The ambos themselves totaled about $350,000-$400,000 when we were all said and done,” said Manny Topper, Hatzalah.
Baltimore’s fire department works in partnership with Hatzalah. All the medical volunteers are fully trained to city standards. The group’s response time is under two minutes because the volunteers live in Northwest Baltimore.
People often call them and call 911.
“I went with the fire chief and members of the Baltimore community, and we saw the operation that’s been in New York for 40-50 years,” said Rikki Spector, Baltimore City Council.
Hatzalah started in New York. A man saw someone collapse in synagogue. Paramedics said they could have made a difference if they had gotten there sooner. That gave the man the idea for Hatzalah.
“It was amazing they were at Ground Zero on 9/11. I didn’t realize the operation was so sophisticated…so many resources,” said Chief James Clack, Baltimore City Fire.
Now the responders can not only stabilize a patient, but get them to the hospital, too.
“I’d like to thank you for safeguarding the health and well-being of our citizens in Northwest Baltimore,” said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.
The group has also applied for a grant for a building to house their ambulances.