The following letter appeared in The Montreal Gazette:
On Friday, Nov. 16, I was walking along the sidewalk during my break at work, at about 9:30 a.m., near the corner of Paré St. and Victoria Ave. There was a patch of ice, and, as you might have guessed, I slipped and broke my ankle.
There were lots of people around. People stopped to offer their help. Some nice woman called 911 to get an ambulance. Then, we started waiting.
After about 10 minutes, a man with a hat and long beard – a Hasidic Jew – comes along and starts asking questions, and after about 30 seconds, takes his phone and starts to call for help. We tell him we have called an ambulance already, but he says it will take minimum of 40 minutes.
After about five to seven minutes, a van arrives with two other men of the same group. They explain they are part of a community group who rush to a site where somebody, anybody, is the victim of an accident, to help that victim while waiting for an ambulance with them. They took my vital signs, and put me into their van to keep me warm.
I started to ask questions about their organization, Hatzoloh. I had never heard of it. They told me it was funded only by private donations, and that they have several teams that do this work. They are trained as medics or ambulance personal, but don’t have a licence to drive private ambulances. They told me they have been trying to get the licence for many years now, and will continue to try until they get it. They never charge anything for their services, it’s strictly charitable work directed toward any human being, regardless of religion.
I wanted to make a donation myself, and they gave me a card. The donation I could afford to give won’t help them much, so I wanted to do more to express the thanks I owe them. That is why I’m writing this. I think that people should be acknowledged for their good deeds.
So now that I’m back at home, I want to make sure that Team W47N72 of the Hatzoloh D &W Division gets heartfelt thanks from an ever-grateful French-Canadian lady they found on a sidewalk in pain. I’m really impressed by their sense of community, something that is lacking in today`s world.
By the way, it took one hour for the ambulance to arrive. I would have been waiting that hour on a freezing sidewalk if this charitable man wouldn`t have called his friend.
My faith is restored in mankind thanks to them.