Quinn: City Needs Hatzolah

We may be individuals who belong to different communities, but at the end of the day, we are one New York City. When it really matters, we rise above our differences to help each other. I would like to extend my gratitude to Hatzolah, the volunteer ambulance service that cared for a person in need at a press conference on Tuesday. The work of Hatzolah demonstrates the importance of community organizations and should serve as a model for public ambulance services.

On Tuesday a young woman fainted at a news conference. I was by her side until the ambulance came. Unfortunately, after close to half an hour, one still did not arrive. Fortunately, a City Council employee placed a call to Hatzolah, and I could not be more grateful for their services. The Hatzolah ambulance arrived on scene approximately five minutes after they were called and took the young woman to the Woodhull Medical Center.

Of course, I had heard of Hatzolah, but the importance of their services to New York City became concrete to me after this incident. Hatzolah does truly remarkable work, and this is just one example of the incredible deeds they do every day. As a volunteer ambulance service, the EMS volunteers drop everything they are doing at the moment — whether they are with their families, in synagogue or working. Hatzolah’s first priority is the health and well-being of everyone in New York City, regardless of religion or race. The emergency medical service responds to over 70,000 calls annually, and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Hatzolah represents the highest ethics of civil society. The day that we called upon their services was Tishah B’Av, a Jewish holiday of mourning on which many Jews fast. Joseph Levy and Mutty Klein demonstrated great dedication when they ran out of synagogue to assist their fellow citizen.

It is important to appreciate Hatzolah and similar community organizations. Although we have great public services, support from organizations like Hatzolah plays a vital role in supporting those services. As a city, we rely on the work of community organizations to ensure that everyone receives the services they need.

After witnessing Hatzolah’s work firsthand, I couldn’t be more proud of them and the work they do. The dedication of these volunteers never fails to amaze me; Levy and Klein did a remarkable deed, despite the difficulties of observing Tishah B’Av. I am truly grateful for the work of Hatzolah and similar community organizations and hope that they continue to provide the services that New York City needs.