New York – VIN Exclusive: Prominent Brooklyn Rabbi Endorses Women’s Volunteer Medical Corps


    FILE Photo illustrationNew York – Plans for a women’s division of Hatzalah dedicated to assisting in emergency births have been scrapped as the women, after consulting with a respected Brooklyn rabbi, have instead decided to create their own independent volunteer service, titled Ezras Nashim, that will be staffed entirely by women.

    Ezras Nashim spent more than half a year trying to join forces with Hatzalah, under the premise that many women who find themselves facing an emergency birth situation were uncomfortable with male emergency medical technicians, many of whom are community members and even neighbors.

    VIN News has learned that, in a meeting that took place just prior to Chanukah, four women representing Ezras Nashim explained the need for women EMTs to be called in childbirth situations to noted Brooklyn Halachic authority Rabbi Yechezkel Roth, the Karlsburg Rov.

    Several prominent rabbonim and numerous others were present at the meeting which took place at the Karlsburg Shul on 53rd Street in Borough Park.

    “Rabbi Roth listened for at least an hour,” one person who asked to remain anonymous was present at the meeting told VIN News. “He explained that historically the ‘miyaldos’ (mid-wives) were women and we see in our community that in the Chevra Kadisha, we have men attending to men and women attending to women. Our shuls are separate, our weddings are separate and there is no reason for our emergency medical corps not to function in the same way, not only in childbirth but in other medical situations as well.

    As for how to implement having women serve on Hatzalah, Rabbi Roth said that decision should be made by Hatzalah’s rabbinical advisors. Rabbi Roth concluded by telling the women that the miracle of Chanukah, among many others, happened through the hands of women, the geula will come through women and that Ezras Nashim, also being brought about by women, should be blessed with hatzlacha.”

    Following Rabbi Roth’s advice, Ezras Nashim arranged a meeting with Hatzalah.

    “Hatzalah’s board told us that their members did not want women joining Hatzalah and that any changes to Hatzalah could potentially cause delays in service, which was obviously something that nobody wanted,” attorney and community activist Ruchie Freier who represents Ezras Nashim told VIN News.

    In a news report that appeared Tuesday in The Forward, Ezras Nashim EMT Yocheved-Lerner Miller explained that the women decided that it was preferable to start their own corps instead of continuing their efforts to join Hatzalah.

    “Basically, we did the Hatzalah routine and it is going to get us nowhere,” said Mrs. Lerner-Miller. “They are adamant and the goal now is to get going. That is how we are going to do it. We are going to do our own thing.”

    Hatzalah CEO David Cohen confirmed to VIN News, that he met with Ezras Nashim, but gave no further details, saying he wished Ezras Nashim well.

    “We did our homework and we realized that if we aren’t providing medical transport, we don’t need to be a licensed ambulance corps,” said Mrs. Freier. “Once we discovered that we didn’t have to buy an ambulance but could just contract out with a licensed medical transport provider, it was clear that we could do this on our own and didn’t need to join forces with Hatzalah.”

    Members of Ezras Nashim will be trained as both EMTs and doulas or midwives and while the volunteer corps is being founded to aid women in childbirth, their members will be trained to assist in other medical situations as well. The group expects to be classified as a tax exempt 501C3 charitable organization and will be relying on donations from the public. Volunteers with Ezras Nashim will have to spend over a thousand dollars each to cover the cost of training, insurance, a medical kit and a phone.

    “Our goal is not to encourage home birth,” explained Mrs. Freier. “We will assess just like Hatzalah assesses and while we will have a full medical board of advisors on staff, as women who have had children, we have an extra sensitivity and awareness of the situation that men could never have. What I find amazing is that Ezras Nashim is uniting women from all walks of life who want to be involved. Women from Manhattan, women from New Square, irreligious women, Chasidic women, so many women who have never had the opportunity to use their medical skills in a volunteer fashion are coming forward and asking ‘How can I help?’”

    According to Mrs. Freier Ezras Nashim will be in full operation within the next few months with an emergency Telephone number.

    To find out more about Ezras Nashim or to make a donation contact Mrs. Freier at [email protected].

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    1. Let’s hope that no women will have their health or their baby’s health compromised by calling an untrained new grad to treat them. Hatzolah has experienced EMT Paramedics and doctors. Just for Kovod to put women and their baby’s in danger is unbelievable.

      • Kovod for the lady in distress, not any CEO’s Kavod (ahem ahem). How would you like it if your neighbor saw you in the most untzniyus and embarrassing situation possible? Especially as some men on Hatzlacha just stand around watching…..
        New Grads? What about trained EMTs, Doctors, nurses ect who have been trained? What sort of training does every hatzala guy get? They all started out as untrained. There are many female EMTs who might need to “get trained” by Ezras Nashim but they have all the required medical knowledge from REAL schools or their professional life.

      • This is not a thought out comment. Everyone in Hatzalah (and in addition, all Doctors and nurses, etc…) start out inexperienced and newly trained.

        “untrained new grad”

        If they are a new “grad” then they have obviously been trained. And like any medical profession they train by actually going on calls with a reputable corp. In New York they will gain experience pretty quickly since the huge Jewish population raises the probability that a woman will go into labor out of hospital requiring assistance. They will not put a mother and baby in danger any more than Hatzalah would with proper training.

        I wish them luck.

      • I dont understand why they will be in danger..Any women who is uncomfortable with Hatzoloh members should call 911 and the NYFD will be there in 5 minutes and Hatzoloh or NYFD will transport the Mother and baby to the closest hospital…
        Its the patients choice ….

      • Obviously you see what you want and ignore the rest. Women feel more comfortable with women. There is nothing there about the kovod. Do you want to go to a female doctor for a prostate exam? Also who says they are untrained or even inexperienced. In addition, do you think hatzolah never accepts new recruits? I’m sure E’N will do its due diligence in ensuring the highest standards in all matters.

      • And Hatzalah has no untrained new grads answering call??

        It isn’t about kovod. It is about derech eretz and making the women in labor more comfortable. We allow a husband to ride along to the hospital on shabbos to make his wife more relaxed and comfortable.

        Are the fragile egos on Hatzalah more important than shabbos?

      • Nonsense, every Doctor,Paramedic, EMT was once untrained. You get experience by doing.
        Nobody is in danger, they are training properly.
        Most women that give birth at home are not complicated births and nothing would happen if nobody assisted it’s a natural process. Women over the years have deliverd themselves with 1/2 hour training.

      • seems to me that its hatzalo thats having the kovod issue not ezras noshim
        explain Y if these woman are trained as EMT’s and eventually as paramedics and have a DR on call as hatzalo does why they are any less competent then male hatzalo members???
        hatzalo may have had the right intentions of not mixing men/woman volunteers etc but now their will be 2 competing vol organizations.
        this may benefit the frum community in the long run.
        should be very interesting to see what happens when both organizations show up to the same call how things will work out. will be as in the old days when hatzala started and responded to calls in which nyfd were their etc (but more sticky here being both organizations are heimish)

      • Where do u come from? Woman are knowing to be great EMT and most EMS have woman doing a good job,
        I think that a woman giving birth don’t need four man with plumbing pants coming from work delivering her baby and by three other man watching; I think this is the best thing that woman should work with woman, it’s for the comfort of the patient,

        • Mr.Aaron…Please keep this comments to the point…Dont BASH any Hatzoloh member…No member stands around looking ..Yes Hatzoloh members come from work and not all members are Plumbers…When someones life is in danger and every second counts the person really dosent care how the lifesaver is dressed and she really dosent care at that moment if the person saving her child will meet her on 13th avenue…All she wants is to be takin to the Hospital ASAP…
          Do you remember last year during the Winter snowstorm when dozens of Hatzoloh members were carrying mothers and baies on stretchers on the street to get them to the Hospital…Do you believe that Ezras Nushim can do all this..?
          Again i believe Hatzoloh is choice # 1 and for those uncomfortable NYFD is choice #2

          • For one, I never bash Hatzoloh. They are the best thing that exists in all community’s, the issues that I have is that people who think that woman can’t do the job; if man would have baby’s there would not be people living today, woman are allot stronger than man; and as far as man standing around watching, not all members that are there do deliver, yes there are medics, in some cases PD plus members, just get the point, this is better for the patient that a woman deliver,

          • and who was out the night of the snowstorm searching the streets on foot for a yiddishe man who was having a heart attack? oh wait,it was hatzolah guys!!
            to bash any of them is bashing all of them and they deserve the highest praise from all of us.

          • Mr. Yossi, women DO care about who is present at childbirth. Having a baby DOESN’T make women’s minds and feelings disappear. There always IS a bunch of Hatzalah men at a delivery call, and we KNOW that it doesn’t take so many men to assist a woman in childbirth but they are there anyway, looking. Ezras Nashim is here to address these, and other, problems present in Hatzalah. Please don’t justify men looking at a woman;’s exposed private parts as some sort of “pikuach nefesh” when qualified women are around to help, just like they’ve been for centuries. Miriam and Yocheved delivered babies, not Moshe and Aron. Let Hatzalah continue to do good; let the women of Ezras Nashim do their good.

            • Mr. Yossi disagrees with you..This is simple Loshon Hora….
              Hatzoloh men do NOT stand around as you say LOOKING…..You maybe live in a fantasy but please call any cordinator from any neighborhood and they will tell you that you are a LIAR…This is motzei shem ra on our MEN who work 24/7 shabbos yom tov , when you sit home enjoying your family those men our out to help YOU and thousands of others….Please next time when you will need chas veshulem help on a delivery call NYFD and have 12 fireman LOOKING at you….

        • Plumbers? What CHUTZPAH!!! If I was wearing the dirtiest of clothing, I doubt a woman in active labor would care. And as far as “gawkers” go…I’ve NEVER been on an OB/GYN call where unneeded members were just standing around “gawking”. You’ve clearly never been on a call with a Hatzoloh member. Shame on you for such a low comment!

          • He’s also never witnessed a childbirth. Beautiful and emotionally charged though it is, it’s the last thing anyone with unsavory motives would want to behold.

      • #3 >>> What a silly remark! These women do NOT do it for Kovod but for Tznius reasons! I had a cross-the-street frum neighbor where Hatzoloh delivered her baby at home (it all went sudden and there was no time for transport to hospital till after birth).
        These ladies can be just as experienced as EMS / Hatzoloh members. They will not put mothers and babies in danger. If they were to work for Hatzoloh it would be fine with you, the name change seems to bother you.
        I have the highest regard for Hatzoloh but as a man I do understand the need for female volunteers in many emergency cases.

      • and Hatzolah never has newbies? Think again, especially in neighborhoods where most of the EMTs/Paramedics leave to go to work. The prejudice you are showing is unbelievable.

        • If you really are hatzoloh members wife you will know that the units don’t just become units they have to be observers/trainees first. Also for the people that say the units are just looking around, it could be they are observers or they are BLS that was right there and when the medics come they take over.

    2. Fantastic! Not sure why hatzolah has been so stubborn on this issue, but I suspect there are a lot of silly politics involved. For the record, there are many frum, experienced female EMT’s out there, so this will not be all new grads. If a woman in BP goes into labor, there is no reason why her husbands chavrusah, who she sees every shabbos at shu,l should be the one to deliver that baby , if there is a female alternative available.

      • Either you are not really a woman to make such a misogynistic comment or you are a foolish woman. The more women trained for this means they can be on call at times they have babysitters or family members… Obviously a professional organization is going to “organize” it (thus why it would be an organization) so that any member involved is available at either any time or during a set shift.

        • Oh, I’m very much a woman, mother, a young bubby, educator…shall I go on? And it may interest you to know I spoke with NYFD EMS about becoming a paramedic as this is something I’m really interested in.

          The reason I disagree with this new organization is because there’s a huge difference between volunteering & having a profession. The first (and I know because I volunteer in many different organizations INCLUDING but limited to, Chevra Kadisha…DO YOU, MISTER??) is dying (no pun intended.) When people are paid it’s easier to get a commitment. Volunteerism L’Shem Shamayim or for Hakores Hatov or whatever is rapidly becoming a thing of the past.

          Hatzalah volunteers are different: they work out of the community wherever they happen to be when the call comes in. They aren’t constrained by family ties, like the list I gave in #8. IF Ezras Nashim were paid employees I can see it working very well. I just don’t see women dashing out of the house when their husbands aren’t home & there’s no one to watch the kids or pull the challah from the oven. An employee will make child care arrangements for the hours she is officially on-call.

          Do you get it now???

          • well then you must be a foolish one – woman that is.
            I am a female volunteer dispatcher in another city. I have specific shifts that I commit to. I also have kids at home. My shifts are taken when my kid is accounted for, so that I in fact can commit to volunteer. Other female dispatchers in my city vary in age and therefore it varies if they have kids at home to attend to or not. You underestimate the concept of commitment and you underestimate the part of the word organization that is “organize” . The more women there are, the more that will be available at any given time. And if they are specifically making themselves available for only child birth calls – they can easily pull shifts so someone is available at all times and family life is already accounted for ahead of time. That is how one organizes an organization.
            In addition, some male hatzalah members are in fact restricted by day jobs as well as moments they are caught watching the kids while mom is out … that man can not respond to call. But its ok, because it is about numbers. The more men, the more available to respond at any given moment.
            Apparently because you do not value the word “commitment” you think

    3. I just can not see why ezras nushim can not work together with Hatzoloh..
      If a patient calls ezras nushim to an emergency delivery why cant Hatzoloh stand by with an ambulance and take over the transport..If the patient feels safe by waiting for Ezras nushim its her choice but hatzoloh still does the transport…

    4. How wonderful and practical to have woman treating woman. However, these are not good times and I am just not sure about yet another organization that will drain our community of much needed public funds when Hatzolah is already doing the job. I don’t think anyone was ever really emotionaly harmed by having a local or even a neighbor deliver their baby. Maybe this is not so practical after all.

    5. Typical scenario:
      Everything sounds nice until you have a complicated birth. Hatzalah is called because these woman have NO EXPERIENCE and start to panic Hatzaloh arrives the woman are standing there in shock baby is blue not breathing…and there just looking at each other frozen and panicked because they are not trained for these scenarios and because they are not licensed to administer drugs.
      Iv heard this first hand from an EXPERIENCED HATZALOH PARAMEDIC.

      • Bologna. No reason a woman can’t be as well trained and efficient on a call as a man.

        My daughter is in medicine and I’ll put her up against any man with the same training any day of the week.

        Grow up. The days of keeping our wives barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen ended 30+ years ago. Get over it.

      • They do not exist yet so what you heard from a Hatzalah member is his made up misogynistic scenario. Female obstetricians, Midwifes and even Nurses are all trained to deliver babies and women starting their own version of Hatzalah will be trained just the same. Take your woman bashing and go elsewhere.

      • I got news for you. An EMT is just basically trained to be a load & go. The only drugs that NYS certified EMT’s are allowed to administer are oxygen(it’s considered a drug) and epinephrine. Paramedics are a much higher level and can administer drugs thru IV’s usually under medical control (ei: doctor’s directions). A woman can be trained either as a paramedic or an EMT so your statement is pure bubbe meise.

        • Obviously, you’re NOT an EMT or you would know that we can administer many more “medications” than the list you rattled off. Oh, and by the way, we’re NOT junkies, we DON’T administer “drugs”. No further questions your honor, I rest my case!

          • I’m was refering to the protocols when I trained as an NYS EMT-B many years ago with restricted drugs. Things may have changed since then. You say you can now administer many more drugs, but you failed to mention even one of them. Care to elaborate? I did’nt think so…

      • A blue baby in shock and not breathing is typical? Hatzalah EMTs are licensed to administer drugs?

        This is first degree nahrishkeit.

        Ridiculous was a good choice of names for yourself.

      • You don’t even know how shallow you are. There are thousands and thousands of Female EMT,S and Medics out in the world. All you need is a little experience and everything is fine nobody will freeze and they’ll do the job they need to. Looking forward to the Ladies Hatsalsh Good Luck

      • Hate to break it to you, but I know several PROFESSIONAL female EMTs. None of them panic in an emergency – they’re trained professionals. If the women of Ezras Nashim take the same EMT training (and they should), there is no reason for them to panic at the sight of a baby that arrested (I should say, no more than the men do). Maybe the women in your life have been trained to panic at the sight of blood or someone injured, but these women have nerves of steel. I don’t know what “experienced Hatzolah paramedic” you’ve been talking to; maybe someone who is afraid of losing his turf to a superior?

    6. Dear Readers, lets do a poll here, After all the buzz will calm down, it should never happen by you, but if Chas V’Shulem u have an emergency by a Female family member (even labor issues), would u call Ezras Nashim? or Hatzallah? i would call Hatzallah!!!

    7. With all respect, this is step backwards. Instead of integrating the best men and women into a single unified team of first responders, we have this mindless decision to create separate operations which will undoubtedly result in greater costs, overlapping and duplicate facilities and delay in providing the needed emergency care for women. This is such a no brainer and rather than getting the best outcome, we get the lowest common denominator because some Hatzalah members prefer the status quo and will behind behind some rav’s psak to justify their neanderthal postion.

    8. If they will stick to childbirth then I would give it a chance, other then that, I think its literally a skanah even for a one second delay.

      And the truth is, reb cheskel roth’s endorement is very nice, but most importantly, they will have to build up trust that hatzhola has build over 35 years. And that’s a much bigger challance then money, and I believe that ultimatly, the tzibur will decide if this is something to rely on, obviously, they don’t get too much chances to prove themselfs.
      Because its peoples lives.

    9. I’m reading comments from both sides, and I can’t grasp it.

      1. There must be some state regulations here regarding qualifications needed to serve as a first responder. If Ezras Nashim launches, its members will have achieved that in order to respond to calls. What’s all the nonsense about “inexperienced”?
      2. No funds will be drained from Hatzalah. Some calls will, and that will reduce the drain of services by Hatzalah.
      3. The new recruit comments are worse than stupid. New members accompany veteran members on calls until they build up enough experience to take charge on a call. That has always been the policy at Hatzalah.
      4. NYFD will arrive within 5 minutes to get patients to the hospital. Are you kidding? 911 calls are rarely answered that quickly. That’s why we only call Hatzalah in our community, because they actually come quickly.
      5. Politics? You bet. Every such issue is addressed from a political standpoint. Without a doubt, there will be turf battle and lobbying. Just another nisayon for Klal Yisroel to exhibit achdus, and i fear we will fail once again.

      • i agree with you comment…until #5.
        if you would hve any understanding of how hatzalah works, you would agree that a separate organization is the best way to go!
        nothing to do with politics….
        and your lack of faith in klal yiroel is sad. did you not witness what amazing achdus we have just this past July??!!

    10. Some argue the reason woman can’t join Hatzalah is because Man Vol. and Woman Vol. will mingle, and there is an issue of Yichid.

      This is such nonsense, and its being used by zealots who use the Torah an Halacah where it serves them.. as usual.

    11. Again the system is working well for over 50 years and its not an every day problem..
      Hatzoloh will be around for every person who calls them for help….
      911 is here for those who dont feel comfortable with Hatzoloh..
      Mrs. Frier will be here for those who dont want Hatzoloh or 911…

      • Why is Hatzoloh plain wrong..? Hatzoloh is governed by its Rabinical Council who instruct them on every step from Shabbos, Dinei Nefushes and Tzenius.
        Hatzoloh has NO problem with women being trained for EMT or Paramedics. Hatzoloh just can NOT have women on their volunteer force..Its plain and simple ..
        We all know and so does Hatzoloh know that those type of calls are very sensitive and very high class priority and only the most experienced professional members
        attend to those emergency calls…Hatzoloh cordinators are very sensitive and understanding to their community needs and work accordingly…Those calls are life and death calls and every second counts and Hatzoloh is always gonna be there to save a life….So lets NOT mix this up with Womens rights….

    12. “Good – if you can’t join them – beat them” are you insane?? who exactly are you beating , the hatzoloh members who dedicate their lives for others?? shame on you. u r in need of some real help. (please don’t call hatzalah)

      • you are playing into the misogyny.

        And number 46 as well. If NYFD is your second choice, be aware that they employ women who do in fact know how to lift patients and did so in the storm as well so any other woman in any other organization can do the same. In fact in any medical profession, OT, PT, Nursing… the professional is taught proper body mechanics in the way of lifting and moving patients and each field comes with its own devices that accompany such movement.

        I know how to lift a patient, or roll a patient…

        Even with all male teams … it takes a team, but the devices, such as backboards that a patient is rolled onto and then lifted by more than one person onto a stretcher that then pops up in height and has special wheels that roll down as it is placed in an ambulance….is created specifically to aid in the lifting of that patient. It can be done just as well by a team of women.

        But this misogynistic attitude still exists where we use female “weakness” as a justifiable cause to eliminate them from a specific profession, and it has to stop.

        • I am in now way of saying that a women can not do a mens job…When it comes to nursing and NYFD or any ambulance service i 100% agree that women can perform as a man…When it comes to Hatzoloh which is a Volunteer group there is NO station where members sit around waiting for a call (excluding the dispatcher) its only MEN who are allowed by the Rabunim who make the rules regarding members….
          So all those conversations back and forth makes NO sense because it wont change the status of Hatzoloh…..Hatzoloh is funded by the local communities they serve and almost every supporter belongs to a local congregation which has its Rabbi and those Rabbis who are on the Hatzoloh board make the RULES..and the RULE is NO women on Hatzoloh ,makes no difference if she is EMT, or Paramedic….
          It will boil down to calling 718-387-1750 or if you feel more comfortable dial 911…

          • I have no idea what this new rant is all about. Everyone knows that Rabbanim are giving advice on the advances of hatzalah (whether or not I think it is based on halacha or is pure gibberish…) that is not at all what I commented on.

            “Do you remember last year during the Winter snowstorm when dozens of Hatzoloh members were carrying mothers and baies on stretchers on the street to get them to the Hospital…Do you believe that Ezras Nushim can do all this..?”

            Those were your words and that is what I commented on. They in fact had an underlying misogynistic tone as it implied that women can not carry patients on stretchers through snow and I still say that is ridiculous.

            Starting a new rant about Rabbanim does not absolve you from the words you already used.

            • Women GENERALLY are not built like men. The ones who would have the strength to shlep a women on a stretcher through 2+ feet of snow are the exception. Are you going to try and give me an argument that women are built like men?

            • what is your point.Why is there even a need to argue that women are built like men? Women do not need to be built like men to have the strength it takes in a team to lift a patient..

            • There are thousands of female paramedics and EMTs around the U.S. and gazzillion more around the world saving lives everyday. How many people die because of your scenario where a woman could not “shlep a stretcher through 2 + snow”? I know several female paramedics in the FDNY alone who have been on the job for 8+ years and have saved countless lives with their skills. I know female pilots and flight nurses in other states that transport critical patients by chopper several times a week. Hatzolah guys almost always work in groups of more than 2 people on scene to carry people. City EMTs work in 2 and handle their jobs well. And if they need help they call the fire department to lend a hand.

          • Yup, your rabbunim make the hatzulah rules and you can keep the women from joining, but don’t whine and moan when someone starts a new hatzalah with new rabbanim making their own rules.

            You can’t have it both ways.

      • I can NOT talk for Hatzoloh because i am not a member of hatzoloh and not on the board of directors..If i was a memebr i would have NO problem to carry a stretcher after the patient is safe and ready for transport by Ezras Nashim..
        I see NO difference from Chevra Kedishe when women do the Tehara and Men take over from there on..Only difference is that getting to the patient on time is the critical issue..Who will get there on time to save the Mother and baby..?

    13. What if there is a situation such as a fire, building collapse, or drive-by shooting, or other such situation in which there are both male and female victims? Will one EMS refuse to treat the victim in more pressing need of attention, on account of his/her gender?

      Will the two EMSs argue and fight and sabotage one another’s ambulances or equipment in order to resolve the question of who does or does not attend to any given victim? Or over who has priority in a one-lane driveway or narrow hallway?

      [Before you dismiss this as shtuss, bear in mind that before Benjamin Franklin organized America’s first volunteer fire company, competing fire brigades did just that, and many homes in Philadelphia did in fact burn down as the firemen from the competing brigades battled one another instead of the blazes.].

    14. There are a couple of issues at play here.
      I understand the why, but I am convinced about the how. Meanaing the cause is not correlating well to the effect.
      Trained does not = Experienced
      Hatzolah has had women members in the past in certain neighborhoods. The reason there were women allowed in those neighborhoods were because of daytime coverage issues. (SI, Y)
      The issue of Yichud is only an issue on the way back from the call since the call itself pushes aside the prohibition
      From a medical standpoint I think this is extremely risky, if they don’t tie Ezras Noshim in with Hatzolah. The risk of this new org losing a patient because of their lack of patience and persistence in trying to working through the details with Hatzolah . Based on what I have read here it does not seem like they have strong transport, mentoring or ALS support which an OB call can rapidly require.
      I unfortunately foresee some challenges that may result in an adverse event.
      As for the issue of who controls the scene if both organizations are on scene, obviously it will be Hatzolah since they are an ALS provider and by Law BLS (EMT’s) must relinquish the scene to ALS (Paramedics)

      • #49: “As for the issue of who controls the scene if both organizations are on scene, obviously it will be Hatzolah since they are an ALS provider and by Law BLS (EMT’s) must relinquish the scene to ALS (Paramedics)”
        I don’t know which emergency provider you work for, but in New York State, a call is not automatically considered ALS just because an ALS provider arrives on scene. The BLS provider has to actually hand-off patient care to the ALS provider, which once done can not be reversed unless the ALS provider has performed no procedures or interventions that are outside the scope of the BLS provider.
        Also, bear in mind, professional organizations have a few unwritten rules of conduct – first on scene is in charge; mutually agreed hand-off and acknowledgement; professional cooperation — patient care is first and utmost concern — that’s why we are here.

      • “they [do not] have strong transport, mentoring or ALS support which an OB call can rapidly require.” – I remember when Hatzolah started — they didn’t have ANY of these things either – yet through determination, perserverance, professionalism, and the unmitigated desire to do the right thing and provide the highest level of care for their patients – more recently without concern for whether the patient was Jewish or not – Hatzolah has evolved into a well-known professional organization — which, by the way, still manages to recruit some member who are inept, careless, or ego-inflated – sometimes in combination – and still many who believe things should be the Hatzolah way or no way.
        I wish these women luck and much success, may their services never be needed, but may G-D prepare them for whatever missions He deems necessary as we execute his plans for us and our humble world.

    15. I was in a car accident on Route 80 in a snowstorm, and the Teaneck Volunteer Ambulance service and the Ridgefield Park Fire Department responded. They were very professional, and two of the EMTs were frum women who specially helpful and reassuring since it was Erev Shabbos. Despite the blizzard and slippery slope at the side of the highway they carried me out of the car and into the ambulance efficiently. Women EMTs seem to manage just fine and they learn how to manoever a stretcher competently despite patient’s weight!

    16. let’s not forget that women are supposed to be home for their children, in the kitchen for their children & husbands, not necessarily barefoot! that’s a given, & we should aspire to go back to those days – days when yiddishe mama’s brought up their children, not mexican shikses and their ilk. and women aspired to have larger families.

      that having been said, we can can move on.

      as mentioned earlier, why waste money on a new organization? appeals, dinners, advertisements, raffles, chinese auctions, new garage space, new ambulances, etc. ? klal yisroel’s funds are limited, – very limited.

      why can’t the hatzalah operator give a call of this type to a female hatzalah member? of course, they would only go to a call with other professionally trained female members.

      no one doubts for a second it is l’chatchila for women to tend to women! if there’s a snowstorm, or a ruach (in this case a reason) she’aina me’tzuya, the men will be called in & the women will leave.

    17. i think it is ok. would have been good had they combined with hatzola but if politics didn’t allow they are doing the next best thing. I understand why a women would want her baby delivered by another women but in an emergency you can’t be picky and a man could just as well save someone’s life as a women so yes in general it is fine to have a separate division but in the event that a man arrive on the scene first he would do everything he could to help the woman and her baby until further help arrived or she is transported to the hospital.

    18. Do you women REALLY think Hatzoloh is going to stand around, outside a house waiting to transport a patient that someone else has treated? That would be a waste of resources and probably a liability issue. AND, in New York, an imminent birth must have a paramedic attending. Where is EN getting paramedics from? It took Hatzoloh decades to get paramedics. (We also do NOT allow new members, or single members to respond to child births) The waste of precious minutes deciding which organization to call, searching for the correct number, or even waiting for a member of a different gender is why the whole idea is dangerous, and why Hatzoloh will not admit women.

      • Hardly any of this makes sense.

        “Do you women REALLY think Hatzoloh is going to stand around, outside a house waiting to transport a patient that someone else has treated? That would be a waste of resources and probably a liability issue. “

        No – it does not have to be a liability. In Chicago Hatzalah has been doing a great job and they have no ambulances yet. They are first responders and CFD is always called and will transport if need be. Works just fine if there is no ambulance in a start up emergency response org.

        “in New York, an imminent birth must have a paramedic attending”

        Have no idea what this means. in any state if a woman goes into emergent labor anyone around can catch the baby or assist if need be. A woman does not need to call any responder if she so chooses.

        “Where is EN getting paramedics from? It took Hatzoloh decades to get paramedics.”

        Either they get the ones who are already licensed or they train them under a licensed educational provider just like hatzalah did.

        “(We also do NOT allow new members, … to respond to child birth)”

        This also makes no sense. At some point after becoming a Hatzalah member a response to a “birth” call will be that

      • Why can’t single members respond to child birth? It is very likely this policy violates Federal and State Human Rights Laws, and Haztolah is opening themselves up to a lawsuit admitting that.

    19. Maybe hatzoloh is living in the dark ages and wants to keep it an All Boys Club. After all Cholent on Thursday night with the women members just won’t work. What possible reason can they give for not wanting this? Halacha wise? Non issue. They can be seperate but equal. Tzinius? men and women will not go on call s together .Capability? There are as many qualified female doctors , midwives, obstreticiians etc… as men. Don’t make it like women are some weaker less knowledgeable people. Hatzoloh can be very closed minded especially people at the top. Hatzoloh needs to grow up and smell the roses .

    20. As a Hatzolah member and as someone who has worked with a municipal ambulance co. I can tell you first hand the pitfalls of having women on the same team as men. When you have a situation where you have people working closely together one-on-one, you developed a relationship, a routine and typically an understanding for one another. Especially in the medical field, you have to almost read your partners mind when treating a patient.
      Ezras Nushim may start as a group to help women in labor, but if part of the Hatzolah system, it will no doubt lead to wider involvement.
      When it comes to treating a patient, it’s almost silly to say that they are more comfortable having a female treating them. At that point in child labor, all they need is the assistance.
      How many of us go to a female Doctor, have a female hygienist at the dentist, massages or for women, a male OB. The list can go on but my point is, when you are dealing with a professional and require treatment, the barriers typically disappear.
      If they want want to go and start a separate organization, then do so but it cannot happen under the Hatzolah organization.

      • Sorry Hatzoloh member:..i agree with you that women dont belong on Hatzoloh, not because they cant do they same job as a man…They can NOT because the Rabunim would not allow it..You need NO better reason…
        Also you can not compare a delivery to a hygenist….Cleaning some ones gums is not in any way comparable to a delivery…Its not only the assistanece they need..They need Privacy and it is every womens night mare to ever deliver in a home or in a car.
        There is many Tzenius issues here ..But when a life is in danger you have to help that person in the most respectful manner and Hatzoloh is very well trained in that field and
        Hatzoloh members are all shomrei torah umitzvoth men and they do their job with mesires nefesh and have Directors and Rabunim that stand behind them…

      • “Ezras Nushim may start as a group to help women in labor, but if part of the Hatzolah system, it will no doubt lead to wider involvement. “

        “When it comes to treating a patient, it’s almost silly to say that they are more comfortable having a female treating them. At that point in child labor, all they need is the assistance. “

        If you can just pocket your ugly masculine ego for a half a minute, you will realize that having a heimishe guy(s) deliver your baby is NOT the same as having a male OB. And don’t even get me started on a situation where the woman actually KNOWS the volunteer(s). If you have any sense of Tznius and a shred of emotional intelligence you understand very well that delivering a baby into the hands of a hatzolah volunteer makes an already stressful situation even harder.

        Hatzolah has the opportunity to change this. And we both know that if the situation actually bothered those hotshot decision makers, they would figure out a halachically and hashkafically acceptable system to have these women join for child birth related calls.

        • I have the ultimate respect for Hatzolah and my husband is a generous supporter of their work. So we can take attacking me as a hatzolah basher off the table right from the get go. Hatzolah was a great blessing during my father in law’s last illness. I understand that Hatzolah is ruled by the rabbis, their rule is no women and that is that. I dont agree but I accept it. And Now thankfully Mrs Freir has taken the sensible step of, fighting what she cant change and starting a new service. The stupidity of people’s comments is unbeleivable, EN doesnt have training or equipment. NEWS FLASH, neither did Hatzolah when they started out.
          Can these women lift patients? NEWS FLASH what about nurses in hospital, they are trained to do so and so will EN. Women go to male doctors, so what’s the big deal? NEWS FLASH, it is one thing to go to a male OB who is not in your circle of acquaintances. . I dont see my male OB socially or while running errands. I do see my neighbor three house down from me on a daily basis. And ya, know, I would not be comfortable seeing him day in and day out, if I had had to have him delivery my child. So best of luck to EN-

    21. Does it really make a difference male or female – what is really the heart of the matter is that there are probably ‘halachic’ issues of having women work closely with Hatzalla – and is this really an issue when one is receiving medical attention? Next we will have women dentist for women, etc – there appears to be something wrong here. If the women are trained as valid EMT’s and will respond to MALE patients as well KOL HAKAVOD – other wise we are getting into the ULTRA HAREDI mishegas!

    22. As a woman, I don’t get the being embarrassed part. If Hatzoloh is embarrassing, call 911!
      I and many others like me, prefer my (frum) male ob/gyn since I trust his expertise. The birth experience should depend on that. If you are embarrassed to be treated by a male, maybe you are just too immature to have a baby!!

      I would surmise that Hatzoloh does not want women since 1. It works, why fix it , and 2. They are looking at big Tznius problems by involving the women!

      • Can Ezras Nashim start up as a new, independent entity? I thought they would need certificate of need from the city/state to start up where there already is an existing organization. They can’t just start up without one.

      • It’s called Tznius, honey. And let me be very clear about this: A system where men are forced to deliver babies when qualified women are available IS NOT A SYSTEM THAT WORKS.

        Regarding the Tznius problems by involving women: If they would be serious about fixing this problem they would make it work according to halacha and hashkafa. This is a giant cop-out.

    23. in terms of feeling uncomfortable i believe 911 would be the most discreet and least awkward way about it. if e’n were to show up at your house it would be way more public and embarrassing by showing the obvious nature of the emergency as opposed to hatzala coming to your house which can mean any sort of medical situation. lets not forget, any emergency scene attracts curios onlookers such as a passersby and neighboors. so ms freier and ms miller you have no gain here other than bringing up the issue of women’s rights. yes it is an issue however don’t jeopardize people’s lives by pushing your agenda, pick something else

    24. I hope Ezras Nashim and The community understand, that if they don’t become a “NYS Ambulance service”, Rather they become a NYS First responder Organazation, without there own ambulances. They probably will not be able to get to the Emergency scenes as fast as Hatzaolah would, Because NYS would not allow Ezars Nashim to use them to use Emergency lights and Sirens in their Personally owned cars, and for that matter any color light as a first responder organization only

    25. Well in new square they have female hatzolahs for childbirth only.brilliant biggest fear was when I was pregnant that my neighbor hatzolahs would not have to deliver my baby.just for the record they are some hatzolahs who love attending births they are bniveled.

      • It’s true. And if you say anything, you get the “these selfless men are dedicating their lives saving the community” line. I’m not saying they don’t do great work. I AM saying, shame on them that in 2012 they still have heimishe men assisting women in childbirth. Shame on them.

    26. This is exciting that Ezras Noshim is heading forward at full throttle. I was asked to be a dispatcher and am looking forward to being one. Watch out Brooklyn residents, this will be a stunning organization, we will do it with or without you. And those who will see the advantage of using this organization when in need will have the most amazing emergency birthing experience B”H.

    27. The problem with the ezras noshim is as follows. Lets say hatzolah gives them the go ahead and this is how the call goes out on the radio: H-base, Do we have any units for a code-5 (lets say this is a esras nushim call) no one answers the radio, they have to start calling on the phone, because remember there is a rule now, that only code-5’s can be takin by females and they spend an extra 1 – 2 minutes , when a regular member could have been there. G-D forbid this is a serious situations and a baby could have brain damage, is it worth risking mothers and babies lives. because a woman would feel more comfortable with a woman……????? think about it…. (I know what your argument will be next. No, once this enforced, it will stay that way, a male member will not feel comfortable going to the call)

    28. Halachically it is preferable for women to be delivered by women. I can’t understand why anyone would go to a male OB if they live in NY. There are super qualified, high risk female OBs who are as good if not better than any male OB out there. And a frum one, are you nuts? What kind of frum boy goes into looking and caring for women’s private parts as a profession? Professional, no way, they enjoy every second of it. And if they say they don’t they are lying. This is a great idea, I hope it spreads to the 5 towns.

      • You are saying motzi shem rah you really should never call Hatzolah for somebody after speaking like that be Ashaimed on your self for saying they enjoy every second i guess your one track minded Hatzolah has work to do they are not just bums and they leave work for emergency and you say they enjoy i guess that’s the reason your not on Hatzolah!!!!!!!

        • This is why you need more than your 5th grade secular education – to understand the written word in English. The frum male OB’s are whom I was slandering so to speak. Hatzolah doesn’t actively seek out compromising tznuis when they work. A male OB surely does. When there are no other options, obviously there are heterim to allow a man to become an OB. But in NY (or NJ), I can’t see it – there are many many overqualified OBs already and even some frum females! Why a frum man should go into the profession can only be because he finds some sort of enjoyment out of it. Yuck.
          And the reason I am not on Hatzolah is because I am female so they wont let me join (though I am trained in first aid, cpr and AED)

    29. This should be the worst thing that should happen in a womens life that an hatzalah member should deliver the baby as long as the baby is healthy mezul nisht visen fun kein tzuris Amen.

    30. Ezras Noshim women will not only be equally trained as the men are, they will be superior in that they will have training as labor coaches. In an era when some Chassidic men even avoid direct eye contact with women, avoid sitting next to them on buses, shouldn’t they want to protect their wives from having to expose their bodies to multiple frum men from their block. Yes, to save a life it’s permitted, but if we have an alternative with better trained emt’s who are compassionate, considerate women, we should embrace the project. Moshe Rabeinu did not seem to think that men were more appropriate for a safe delivery than Shifra and Puah. In a few years from now we will look back and wonder how their was a time when frum women had no choice but to let neighborhood men into their examine and treat them during delivery. BH that we have a wonderful, safe alternative! Halacha respects a woman’s emotional needs and lets her husband ride with her even when not medically needed. A reassured, relaxed women is medically at an advantage. Having a trained competent woman whom she can relate to at her bedside will be of tremendous benefit at such a time.

    31. The real issue here is the time it takes for help to arrive. If you have to “wait” for a certain gender to respond, damage can be done when seconds count. That’s why Hatzalah is right by not accepting woman for certain calls. It will just slow down the operation.

      As far as Ezras Nashim… I can’t imagine anyone with a true emergency calling them. If you have time to call them, then you should go to hospital and have baby there, by a midwife, if you prefer.

      Hatzalah is a men only organization because it provides services to the ultra-orthodox jewish community. Some people here seem to forget that. And by having different members for different calls.. Would just slow the process down. And we can’t have that!

      • This is about the stupidest argument I have ever heard. Did’nt you forget that when it comes to pikuach nefesh, one is allowed to break almost every rule to save someone in an emergency lifesaving situation. To me, Halacha does not say anything about not allowing women to render BLS or ALS to someone in critical need of it. This is strictly all about keeping Hatzalah a “boy’s club” and the political power that comes with it. Nothing moreand nothing less. Spout your BS somewhere else, please.

    32. Hahtzalah claims they can’t accept women because the rabbonim have spoken.

      The rabbonim have also banned the internet. Has Hatzalah started tossing members who have internet access? Or as usual are people following the words of the rabbonim only when it suits their personal agendas?

      • Here it’s actually even more ironic. They have no problem with the Tznius issues involved when men assist a woman in childbirth, but they’re concerned about Tznius issues should women join the program to respond to such calls instead.

    33. A childbirth is not a heart attack!! Seconds won’t make a life and death difference! Why do so many here assume that women are slower than men? In the secular world women do ride ambulances and their outcomes are just as good. Women can be just as quick, efficient, capable, and sooooo much more warm, compassionate and reassuring than men. It’s like the “horseless wagon” an invention some people are not yet ready for…. Guys: have you made other changes in your life in this decade?! Or are you still only using phones that are plugged into the wall? This is the best innovation that will just be a fact of life very soon! No one is taking away a woman’s free choice to call a man if she prefers that. And if the worry is that Hatzala who is heavily funded by the state will get less donations… that line of thinking we should not open any new Yeshivas or Mosdos cause the old ones will get less money! Hatzahla will have less expenses once a substantial load is taken off them, so it will all even out! The Director of this project is a well established attorney who is doing this because there is a need. Mrs. Freier needs no “thrills”! Her life is busy enough BH.

    34. I think part of the problem is geographic. New Square is very small, so requesting a specific responder won’t cost a lot of time. When a call comes in to Hatzolah in Brooklyn, the closest available volunteers respond. There are many volunteers available at any given time, so the closest one (or more) can respond almost instantly. But once you start specifying who can and can’t answer a call, you’re eliminating some of the closest available first responders. Women don’t have a longer response time because they’re slower. They just may (or may not) happen to be in the right area at the right time. When you call 911, you get whoever’s available, male or female. Telling the closest volunteers not to respond because they happen to be male would cause the delay, and that would be dangerous.

      And, for the record, as a female, I find Hatzolah’s volunteers to be professional and understanding. Regardless of how many volunteers responded, they were never “standing around gawking”. They addressed the issue(s) at hand, and did what they had to. Nothing more, nothing less.

    35. This is exactly how Hatzolo started 30 yrs ago. people yelling, they’re inexperienced, its skonos nefoshos, just call 911, (even stories that people died by calling them), bla bla bla. and it turned out to be the best innovation possible. people just hate change and will criticize those who do have guts, until they see the success.

      we really appreciate all of you who try to make a change for the better.


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