Across Israel, Meir Panim responds to the growing needs of the country’s 1.75 million impoverished residents through various food and social service programs.
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.
Comments are closed.
Here’s the Israeli Navy boat INS Hanit arriving in Eilat on Saturday, March 8, 2014, after capturing the Klos C, which was carrying dozens of advanced Iranian-supplied weapons made in Syria and intended for Palestinian guerrillas in the Gaza Strip. Here’s Israeli Navy Commander Vice Admiral Ram Rotberg speaking with the INS Hanit soldiers in […]
Iran accused Israel of faking a raid on a ship laden with arms bound for the Gaza Strip. “An Iranian ship carrying arms for Gaza. Captured just in time for annual [American Israel Public Affairs Committee] anti-Iran campaign,” Javad Zarif, the Iranian foreign minister, said Thursday on his official Twitter account. “Amazing Coincidence! Or same […]
The Rabbinical Council of America denied a prominent rabbi’s accusation that it is actively negating past conversions. The Orthodox rabbinic organization issued a statement Friday responding to a JTA opinion article criticizing the group written by Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld. His article, published Thursday, accused the RCA and its Beth Din of America of “retroactively negating […]
A Canadian judge has ordered child protection officials to use law enforcement agencies to apprehend 14 children in the haredi Orthodox sect Lev Tahor after most of them fled the country. On Wednesday, the judge was supposed to hear an appeal of an earlier ruling to seize the children and return them to Quebec to […]
Jewish groups across the religious spectrum praised Equal Employment Opportunity Commission guidelines on accommodating religious attire in the workplace. The guidelines published Thursday are for “employers with at least 15 employees (including private sector, state, and local government employers), as well as employment agencies, unions, and federal government agencies.” These employers “must make exceptions to […]
Blackwell, who has been accused of “inflaming prejudice,” says animals must be stunned before the cut.
Pope Francis has been forced to cancel his planned trip to Israel in May due to a labor dispute within the Israeli Foreign Ministry. The Pope, who has garnered considerable acclaim from Jewish leaders for his push for stronger Jewish-Christian relations, announced the trip to Israel and Jordan in January. The visit was scheduled to […]
A Canadian court ordered the fringe haredi Orthodox Lev Tahor sect to turn over as many as 13 of its children to authorities after some of its members appeared to have fled the country. Police officers and children’s aid workers visited Lev Tahor homes Wednesday night in Chatham-Kent, in southwest Ontario, with the landlord helping […]
The House of Representatives almost unanimously approved a bill that would enhance U.S. security cooperation with Israel. The U.S.-Israel Strategic Partnership Act, introduced last year by Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) and Ted Deutch (D-Fla.), enhances cooperation in the energy and cybersecurity areas, among others; transfers excess U.S. armaments to Israel for stockpiling and possible use; […]
These are people who always spoke about Aliyah, but now the situation in Kiev is giving them that extra push.
The description that came with this picture says: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks with American actor Bette Midler during an event at the house of Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan in Hollywood on March 6, 2014. But Bette Midler is not really an actor, she’s a singer who made movies for the LGBT community and […]
IDF Intelligence Chief: Iran’s Weapons Smuggling Violates International Law
Arabs threw a bomb into the area of Rachel’s Tomb on Thursday night.
Egyptians who are members of the Hamas terrorist organization may soon have their citizenships revoked.
The families involved in the court appeal have been under strict restrictions not to leave Ontario.
The school removed evolution related questions from 52 standardized tests.
What do you do with fruit that has turned just a little soft and squishy and that no one in your household wants to eat?
While there are those who prefer holding a printed recipe in their hands, Estee has found that a cooking website has many advantages. Aside from the obvious cost factor and the ability to fix the rare mistakes, websites have a far greater ability to offer feedback.
I take all my challah ingredients, throw them in the breadmaker, turn on the machine and walk out of my kitchen. Ninety minutes later, I have a gorgeous batch of challah dough with no work and practically no mess to clean up.
Whether you are a repeat customer or a first time visitor, from the moment you enter Orchidea you are treated like family. Only better.
Talk to people who own hybrid cars and they will happily gloat about how infrequently they fill up their tank or how many miles they get to the gallon. Chat with owners of electric cars and they will wax enthusiastically about how often they go to the gas station. Just so you know: they don’t. Ever.
Welcome to Food Talk, a new feature that will highlight food bloggers, those enterprising souls who always seem to come up with something new, creative and most importantly, delicious. If you are anything like me, many of the recipes you make are the ones that magically show up in your inbox one morning and if you get lucky, these new dishes fast become family favorites.
Is anyone else alarmed by the way extended warranties are sold on just about anything and everything? It means one of two things – either someone has found a great way of getting consumers to part with more of their hard earned dollars or manufacturers have no faith in their own products. Neither of those options is particularly heartwarming.
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:
No related posts.