New Square Chassidim Have Own 911


new-squareVolunteer firefighters from New Square, equipped with their own firetruck and a 200-gallon water tank, are going it alone. Recently, real firefighters from Hillcrest responded to a blaze the other day in New Square at the home of the Skverer Rebbe and found chassidim already fighting the fire. Hillcrest Fire Chief Kim Weppler said: “This could have been a deadly situation. One of their members or someone from the community could’ve gotten hurt, and it delayed us getting in there.”

What the volunteers are doing is “absolutely illegal,” Weppler said.

Gordon Wren, Rockland’s fire coordinator, said that New Square has set up its own emergency response system. Instead of calling 911, they call their own number.

Wren said: “Today is one of the first times they’ve had something potentially serious, but we don’t know for sure because they don’t tell us.”

{Times Herald Record/ Newscenter}