You see them every day of the week – including Shabbos and Yom Tov, and at all times of the day and night; dashing out of their homes, shops and shuls to do acts of chesed (good deeds). They interrupt participation in joyous family simchas (celebrations) and even when davening (praying) to Hashem (G-d) during the most serious days of the Jewish calendar (Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur), in order to try and save the life of another human being. In many cases they do not even know who that person is.
They are the selfless volunteer members of Hatzoloh of Montreal, who for past 15 years have responded immediately during the coldest days of the winter or the hottest days of the summer, to desperate calls for help to dozens of various types of medical emergencies. Every year the members of Hatzoloh of Montreal respond to thousands of pleas for help that run the gamut of painful but non-life threatening injuries to terrifying heart attacks and strokes, in which a quick response time can mean the difference between a chance at continued life or a devastating tragedy for family members.
The individual who join Hatzoloh are screened to make sure that they are responsible members of the community. After being chosen, they are put through a thorough training program that includes a minimum of 150 hours of classes and self-study of medical EMS texts. Members must undergo special exams and only those who pass with high marks are allowed to join Hatzoloh. They make a commitment to devote dozens, if not hundreds of hours over the course of a year to respond to anxious calls for help. And they do so for free, without any thought of payment.
Although, the organization was established by members of the Montreal Jewish community, the volunteer members respond to medical emergencies to any member of the neighborhood, without regard to race, religion, or ethnic background of the individual in need. Many non-Jews have come to respect the professional skills of Hatzoloh volunteers and are quick to call the group when a medical emergency occurs.
That these dozens of selfless community members devote countless hours throughout the years and saving the lives of others is one of the greatest Mitzvahs that we are privileged to see. But, this incredible miracle cannot exist without the financial support of the people of the community who have appreciation for the greatest Chesed service that Hatzoloh volunteers perform on a routine basis. The cost of maintaining and insuring life-saving medical equipment routinely utilizes over the course of a year by Hatzoloh runs into hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Please the time to carefully reflect upon this great Mitzvah and then kindly send a generous tax-deductible donation that will bring you benefits not only in this world, but also in Olam Haba (the world to come).
For donations, please click here.