The original Chevra Hatzolah was founded in Williamsburg in the late 1960’s by Rabbi Hershel Weber, to facilitate faster emergency response time and care for the Orthodox community. Over time, Hatzolah has evolved from one branch into many affiliate divisions, becoming the largest volunteer ambulance service in the world.
Hatzolah of Mill Basin was originally founded during March of 1974 as Hatzolah of Remsen Village, serving Remson Village and the outlying areas. As the demographics changed, Hatzolah headquarters migrated to Canarsie and subsequently to Mill Basin. Hatzolah members happily service the multinational populations of Canarsie, Georgetown, Bergen Beach, Remsen Village, Starrett City and East New York.
In the late 1990’s, funds were raised in order to purchase a second ambulance to accommodate the ever expanding community. When the ambulance was transported to its home near the Flatbush Park Jewish Center, some residents complained that an ambulance in the neighborhood would indicate industrialization, thus lowering property values.
Immediately, dozens countered that placing a Hatzolah ambulance in the neighborhood would actually raise property values, since the community now provides emergency pre-hospital treatment. Furthermore, Hatzolah is not a business entity, it is a lifesaving organization!
Almost twenty years later, Hatzolah of Mill Basin is flourishing, with over 40 volunteers and three state-of-the-art ambulances. Hatzolah of Mill Basin receives 1,700 calls per year, and continues to save countless lives every day.