Waterbury, CT - Governor Limits Waterbury Hatzalah’s Capabilities Despite Small Gains Toward Official Status
Waterbury, CT - Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy has begun paving the way for the establishment of an official Hatzalah of Waterbury.
A special act signed by Malloy will allow Hatzalah of Waterbury to receive a supplemental first responder license from the Department of Public Health, reports Rep-Am.com (http://bit.ly/1eJ7aog). The act is significant because the current law requires a municipality, in this case, Waterbury, to approve license applications for emergency medical service providers. Malloy has waived this requirement for Hatzalah. The only catch is that Hatzalah volunteers still may not transport people to the hospital or ride along in ambulances, which, for some, defeats the purpose of having a local Hatzalah.
Beginning in 2000, Waterbury’s historic Overlook and Hillside neighborhoods were settled by the Orthodox yeshiva movement, which took up residence on the old University of Connecticut campus. Hatzalah of Waterbury was founded shortly thereafter, and, despite not having a special state license, its trained volunteers consisting of doctors, nurses, EMTs, and paramedics have been assisting on medical calls for years.
In passing the act, Waterbury legislators said Hatzalah members are important to have on board because they can assist police, firefighters, and medical personnel by explaining Orthodox Jewish customs and religious laws, while also comforting community members in distress.
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