Orthodox Jewish Ambulance Service Faces Fight from L.A. Fire Department, Fire Union

Aharon Sabbagh, an emergency medical technician with Hatzolah, waits for a medical call in the Beverly Hills area in January, 2019. (Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Aharon Sabbagh, an emergency medical technician with Hatzolah, waits for a medical call in the Beverly Hills area in January, 2019. (Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

It started with a few bites of ice cream with cashew and ended with a ride in an ambulance run by an Orthodox Jewish emergency medical service.

In 2017, 2-year-old Rus Amster was on her way home with her family after Shabbat lunch in Baltimore when she began throwing up. Within minutes, her stomach was swollen with puffy blotches, and she had difficulty breathing.

Her parents called Hatzalah, a volunteer-driven ambulance company in Baltimore whose name in Hebrew means “rescue.” Within two minutes, there were several first responders at their door. They injected Rus with an EpiPen and gave her oxygen before rushing her to the hospital, where she was treated for a severe allergic reaction.

“Those volunteers are spread throughout the communities that they serve in a way that they’re able to respond unbelievably quickly,” said Rabbi Chaim Amster, the girl’s father. “For my daughter, that’s really the reason why she’s alive.”

Read the full story at LATimes.com.

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