web analytics
October 1, 2014 / 7 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



As City Bungles Snow Cleanup, Communal Organizations Fill Void


The city that never sleeps was brought to a virtual standstill this week as a blizzard dumped nearly two feet of snow on the New York metropolitan area – and countless miles of streets remained unplowed and all but impassable several days after the flakes stopped falling.

 

Irate New Yorkers did not take kindly to the slow pace of the city’s cleanup efforts and inundated their local officials with phone calls demanding to know when their streets would finally be cleared.

 

Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind called for the resignation of New York City Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty, saying “this lack of response is nothing less than criminal.”

 

Hikind said he was appalled to discover that the funeral of a friend’s mother had to be postponed – despite the Jewish tradition of burying the deceased as soon as possible – because of the dismal street conditions.

 

City Councilman David Greenfield blasted Mayor Michael Bloomberg for clearing the streets in Manhattan while ignoring the city’s outer boroughs. Greenfield described himself as astonished to discover that twelve snow plows were sitting, unused, in the Boro Park sanitation garage on 19th Avenue, because the Department of Sanitation did not have enough employees available to drive them due to personnel cuts made by the mayor.

 

“Why in the world does the city buy trucks and not hire people to drive them? That’s insane,” said Greenfield.

 

Councilman Eric Ulrich, who was instrumental in helping Bloomberg receive the backing of the Republican Party in Queens, criticized the mayor for suggesting New Yorkers use their snow days to take in a Broadway show.

 

“I think people are starting to question his leadership ability,” said Ulrich.

 

As New Yorkers attempted to dig out their cars and waited for streets to be plowed, volunteer communal organizations were struggling to keep up with weather-related challenges.

 

Hatzolah, the volunteer ambulance corps, was inundated with double the number of calls usually received.

 

Severe snowstorms always create additional medical emergencies, particularly among the elderly. But with difficult road conditions persisting in and around New York City, Hatzolah members found themselves transporting women in labor and individuals undergoing chemotherapy, dialysis and other medical treatments that cannot be postponed.

 

Additionally, Hatzolah was busy covering a backlog of some 1,300 calls that could not be accommodated by the city’s 911 emergency response system.

 

Navigating the unplowed streets in neighborhoods such as Brooklyn, Queens and Far Rockaway proved especially difficult, with Hatzolah members forced to park their vehicles on main streets and walk to their destinations. Often, five, six or more members responded to a call in order to carry a patient back to their vehicle, often parked quite some distance away.

 

“Even if we could get the ambulance down the street,” said Hatzolah executive board member Heshy Jacob, “there is no clear access from the sidewalk to the street to load the patient into the ambulance. You would literally have to load the patient over a tremendous wall of snow into the ambulance. We still have to walk the patients to our vehicle which is often quite a distance away.”

 

Despite the difficulties involved, Jacob stressed that Hatzolah was still handling all its calls not only in a timely fashion but with the dedication the Jewish community has come to expect.

 

“We received a call at 1:30 a.m. on Sunday night in the middle of the blizzard from someone whose father was having chest pains and decided to drive himself to the hospital but had to pull over because he wasn’t feeling well,” said Jacob. “The son only knew that his father was parked somewhere on Allen Street on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. We sent two ambulances out to search for him, checking every non-moving car we saw on Allen Street that had its lights on until we found him and got him to the hospital. To 911 this would have been just another call, but to us it was a person, someone’s father, and we made it our business to go out and find him.”

 

Members of Hatzolah were going beyond the call of duty in dealing with the large volume of calls coming in.

 

“We have had members working 24/7,” said Flatbush coordinator Moishe Wulliger. “We have guys who are up all night long taking call after call after call. It is rough but our members are really coming through and really giving it their all.”

 

With city streets virtually impassable, Hatzolah broke with tradition and allowed members who own four-wheel drive vehicles to use their own cars to transport patients.

 

Upstate New York received just a few inches of snow, so Catskills Hatzolah sent its four-wheel drive ambulance down to the city. A Boro Park resident who owns a Hummer left the car with Hatzolah. “You can have it for the week, just don’t crash it,” he said.

 

In an effort to deal with the multitude of calls, Hatzolah turned to organizations such as Shomrim and Shmira as well as people who own four-wheel drive vehicles, asking their assistance in transporting people in non-medical situations.

 

Mayor Bloomberg, for his part, asked New Yorkers to be patient and defended his actions at a Tuesday press conference saying “we are doing the best we can.”

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “As City Bungles Snow Cleanup, Communal Organizations Fill Void”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
The Port of Long Beach
ZIM Shanghai Unloads at Port of Long Beach, No BDS Problems
Latest News Stories
The Port of Long Beach

BDS failed to #StoptheBoat at the Port of Long Beach. The ZIM Shanghai unloaded / reloaded and sailed on without a hitch.

Jews Against Genocide mimicked and blasphemed the ALS Ice Bucket  Challenge with their anti-Israel "Blood Bucket Challenge."

‘Jews Against Genocide’ pervert the Ice Bucket Challenge into a “blood bucket” attack on the IDF.

An Israeli was lightly injured in a Arab drive-by attack near Ofra.

To defeat ISIS and leave Iran as a threshold nuclear power is to win the battle and lose the war.

Mumia Abu-Jamal, convicted murderer of a Philly cop, was chosen as college commencement speaker.

Israeli transportation and tourism employees will carry out a work slowdown on Wednesday in solidarity with striking postal workers.

Wartime makes the strangest bedfellows. Iran and the United States are both equipping the Lebanese army to protect the country against ISIS.

Afek Oil and Gas has been blocked from drilling for oil on the Golan Heights, at least for now.

A 30-year-old man is listed in serious condition after setting himself afire at the Savion Junction in central Israel on Tuesday.

A Muslim football player was penalized in Kansas City for offering a quick prayerful gesture of thanks after scoring a touchdown for his team.

The Zim Shanghai moored a short while ago at the Port of Los Angeles.

The blatantly hostile state department press corps belittled and mischaracterized Netanyahu’s UN speech.

Children help clean up Ashkelon in an event organized by the Jewish National Fund, as part of Clean up the World Day, on Sept. 29, 2014.

Jews are becoming as safe in France as they are in Iraq, Yemen and Syria.

Children were rushed to bomb shelters in the Jerusalem neighborhood when Arabs began throwing explosives at the neighborhood and at Jewish toddlers playing near their nursery schools.

More Articles from Sandy Eller
Eller-092614-Americare

“I knew it was a great idea, a win-win situation for everyone,” said Burstein.

A-Night-Out-logo

While we all go to restaurants for a good meal, it is dessert, that final taste that lingers in your mouth, that is the crown jewel of any dining experience and Six Thirteen’s offerings did not disappoint.

“When Frank does something he does it well and you don’t have to worry about dotting the i’s or crossing the t’s.”

Scan those sale circulars either online or when they show up at your doorstep, check out the sale items and plan your menus accordingly.

“We are strong chassidic women and we take the name, we embrace it, and we own it.”

“My father added that after all the pogroms, after the Holocaust, a member of the family had finally returned to the shul, proving once again that the indomitable spirit of the Jewish people can never be vanquished.”

In recent months I have found there are certain things not worth buying and with the help of everyone’s best friend, Google, recipes for some of them are literally at the tip of your fingers.

The chicken and waffle nuggets were fabulous and were like chicken in a dessert form.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/global/as-city-bungles-snow-cleanup-communal-organizations-fill-void/2010/12/30/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: