Photo Credit: Hatzolah
A line of ambulances.

The Hatzolah emergency medical response organization operating in the Catskills in upstate New York has been having a difficult time with its communications over the past few weeks — since the start of the summer — due to radio interference experienced by its first responders.

Medical teams in Woodridge, Monsey, Kiryas Yoel and other areas, as well as in Lakewood New Jersey reported similar incidents.

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The problems were tracked down to local inexpensive civilian walkie-talkie radios “made in China” and purchased by families as toys for their children.

Even basic electronics today are capable of transmitting over every frequency — even those purchased at a cost as low as $30. The price for such a bonanza can be high indeed, however, when such high-tech electronics have the capability of interfering with the work of medical teams.

A few seconds can make the difference between life and death, and radio interference can destroy communications between those teams and their dispatcher when relaying information is crucial to saving a patient’s life.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.