Hatzalah Statewide Creates Network of Coverage for Camps

Dr. Nosson Zemel, founder/CEO of Hatzalah Statewide.

This summer has brought with it many unique scenarios for camps of all sorts. As New York State has barred camps from operating, countless camps have found alternate facilities in new locales, such as Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Vermont. Hatzalah Statewide, otherwise known as “Hatzalah Without Borders,” has launched a campaign to locate every sleep-away camp in an attempt to provide Hatzalah coverage.

Mr. Simcha Shain, coordinator of Hatzalah Statewide, explains, “Hatzalah Statewide was founded about five years ago, in an attempt to provide coverage to those who are traveling outside of Hatzalah’s basic covered areas for work, simchos, vacations, or any other reason. Suppose someone lives in Lakewood but is traveling to other areas of New Jersey and requires Hatzalah. What can they do?

“We realized that if people are traveling out of our basic network area, then there are likely other Hatzalah members outside of the area as well. We created a network of 275 members who are on call wherever they go. With advanced communication options, we can respond to Hatzalah calls from a much broader geographic range. Our communication system works all over the world.”

When it became clear that camps would be spread out in new areas this year, Hatzalah Statewide launched a campaign to mobilize resources, and reached out to contact camp directors, availing them of their services by mobilizing a database of responders stationed throughout the relevant areas.

To date, there have not been many calls this summer, b’siyatta diShmaya.

“Obviously, we are much happier without calls. However, when the phone does ring, we are ready to offer assistance and advice on any level,” says Dr. Nosson Zemel, Founder/CEO.

Hatzalah Statewide will provide emergency first aid, but does not provide transport. Dr. Zemel explained, “Our goal is to provide emergency first aid, between the time of injury or illness until local responders arrive on scene, which often can take as long as 30 to 45 minutes; if someone needs oxygen, or is bleeding heavily, those minutes are crucial.”

In another initiative, Hatzalah Statewide has undertaken to direct patients to the best closest facility to receive specialized care on a case-by-case basis. “It is a big mistake to bring a patient who has suffered severe burns to a community hospital, thereby delaying transfer to a dedicated burn treatment center. We have set up a system wherein upon dispatching a call, a team of five other members will research the nearest hospital that can best accommodate the particular situation.”

The emergency number for Hatzalah Statewide is 201-613-1111 and is manned 24/7, 365 days a year. “I spent significant resources arranging for a number that everyone can remember,” notes Dr. Zemel. “‘613’ is for Taryag, and ‘1111’ represents achdus. Wherever there is a need, we help.”

Camps or other groups who wish to notify Hatzalah Statewide of their location should please contact camps@hatzalahstatewidenj.org. If you wish to join Hatzalah Statewide or need additional information please contact us at info@hatzalahstatewidenj.org.