Brooklyn, NY – As Brooklyn’s first all female volunteer ambulance corps continues training volunteers in a historic effort to provide women with dignity and modesty in emergency medical situations, the group is preparing to officially introduce themselves to the community at their first inaugural gala, to be held on November 3rd, VIN News has learned.
“People have heard about Ezras Nashim but they want to know more,” Mrs. Ruchie Freier, who is both one of the founders and a member of Ezras Nashim, told VIN News. “They want to know how this will work. Who they will call? Who will be dispatching? This gala will be a forum to answer these questions.”
Ezras Nashim hopes to raise much needed funds for necessary medical equipment at the event, which will take place from 1 to 4 PM at Khal Chasidim, 4820 15th Avenue in Borough Park.
The gala will feature both a mini Chinese auction and a video presentation that will tell the story of Ezras Nashim and will include interviews with Ezras Nashim’s EMTs as well as members of Ezras Nashim’s medical advisory committee.
The timing of the event, on Rosh Chodesh Kislev, was no accident.
“We picked the date because Kislev is the month of miracles and we have learned that women have the ability to bring about miracles,” said Mrs. Freier.
Ezras Nashim, which is certified by New York State as a Basic Life Support First Response Organization, has already trained 40 EMTs with another 12 students currently undergoing training. All of the EMTs have been doing their training and rotations at North Shore University Medical Center and Brookdale Hospital and have been doing observation tours with FDNY female EMTs.
“I think the organization has made wonderful progress and it has attracted a group of highly dedicated women who have conducted themselves with professionalism, dedication and compassion,” said Dr. Allen Cherson, Ezras Nashim’s medical director and assistant director of emergency medicine at Brookdale Hospital.
Dr. Cherson is being honored as the Vision of Operations at the gala and Mrs. Freier expressed her profound gratitude both to Dr. Cherson and to the many people who have helped the women of Ezras Nashim on their journey.
“The hospital nurses, doctors and FDNY crews have been so nice and helpful to us, teaching us with altrusim and showing us incredible support. We salute them and thank them for they are truly serving as Hashem’s messengers.”
Yocheved Miller, who has served as an EMT for 25 years and is one of the founding members of the all female volunteer corps, looks forward to serving with Ezras Nashim.
“I have always asked why there are no female EMTs in the Orthodox Jewish community and everyone just shrugged their shoulders,” said Mrs. Miller. “Ezras Nashim is very near and dear to my heart and the response I get from women when they hear about Ezras Nashim is ‘it’s about time.'”
The idea of women EMTs being on hand to deliver babies in emergency situations is something that has global appeal to many women, both in and out of the Jewish community, according to physicians assistant Yocheved Silk, one of the hostesses of the Ezras Nashim gala.
“This is something that most women can respond to as relevant to them,” said Mrs. Silk. “It has such relevance and it resonates with women everywhere. It just makes sense. You hear these stories about women who had their babies delivered by policemen and firemen and it is very compromising. No one wants to be in that situation.”
Having spent time doing obstetrics and gynecology during her medical training, Mrs. Silk saw firsthand that many women preferred to be seen only by women doctors.
“Some women had chosen to have female doctors and they didn’t want a man coming in,” recalled Mrs. Silk. “This is such a universal concept, something that I have seen so many times, that when Ezras Nashim was started I didn’t have to explain anything to people. It just made sense.”
Mrs. Silk further pointed out that traditionally, it was always midwives who delivered babies.
“Let’s just go back to the source. It was Yocheved and Miriam who delivered the babies and the Torah doesn’t have extra pesukim for no reason. If it mentioned that women delivered the babies, there is a reason for it.”
According to Mrs. Freier, Brooklyn women can expect Ezras Nashim to begin serving the community as soon as all training has been completed and all medical equipment has been purchased. Ten dispatchers have already been trained and are looking forward to Ezras Nashim’s official launch.
Dr. Cherson expressed optimism that the women’s volunteer corps will fill a much needed role in Brooklyn.
“I am confident in the near future, when Ezras Nashim begins to operate they will be a tremendous Kiddush Hashem and will be a positive force not only in pre-hospital emergency medical care within their community but also within the City of New York,” said Dr. Cherson. “I think they will set not only a high standard in how they attend to women in their own community but also to all women, regardless of who they are and where they come from.”