By Sandy Eller, VIN News
An Australian division of Hatzolah has been accepted this week for the first time as an accredited first responder unit by the government run Australian ambulance service.
All thirteen members of Hatzolah of Sydney graduated from the New South Wales Ambulance’s Community First Responder program on April 29th and in an arrangement worked out between the two agencies, Hatzolah members will now be able to respond to cardiac arrest calls in their immediate area.
Hatzolah of Sydney was founded in 2006 and serves the Jewish community in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.
“We have an excellent working relationship with the NSW Ambulance and are happy to be able to reach even more people in this new arrangement,” Rabbi Mendy Litzman, founder and president of Hatzolah of Sydney, told VIN News.
In a statement released to the media, NSW Ambulance’s Volunteer and Community First Responder Operational Support Manager Superintendent Sue Webster praised the joint venture saying, “It has facilitated greater interaction and operational support between ambulance and Hatzolah for the benefit of the community of the eastern suburbs of Sydney.”
Rabbi Litzman estimates that Hatzolah of Sydney averages three calls per day and has responded thousands of calls since its inception.
Just days after their graduation, Hatzolah of Sydney responded to its first emergency, a cardiac arrest, under the new partnership.
“One of our members lived just a third of a mile away so he was first on scene, demonstrated the value of the collaboration,” said Rabbi Litzman. “In medical emergencies, every second counts.”