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New York - AP Report: NYC Jewish Women Want To Join All-male EMT Group

Published on: November 27, 2011 01:36 PM
By: AP
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In this Nov. 9, 2011 photo, Yochevev Lerner, right, demonstrates cardiopulmonary resuscitation technique to Hasidic attorney Rachel Freier during a women's-only CPR training session in the Borough Park section of New York.  Freier and Lerner are part of a group of ultra- Orthodox Jewish women who propose forming an all-female unit to join the all-male Hatzolah Volunteer Ambulance Corps to assist women in childbirth or who suffer gynecological emergencies.   Freier said the proposal stems from a need for the emergency services to adhere to the Orthodox Jewish community’s modesty customs that call for the sexes to avoid physical contact unless they are related. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)New York - Most Orthodox Jewish women avoid touching men except direct relatives. They don’t sit next to men on buses or even at weddings. They have separate swimming hours at indoor pools. But for an emergency birth, Orthodox Jewish women will usually turn to the all-male volunteer ambulance corps known as Hatzolah.

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Now a group of women in one of the country’s largest Orthodox Jewish communities is proposing to join up with Hatzolah as emergency medical technicians to respond in cases of labor or gynecological emergencies.

The proposal for a women’s division has stirred up criticism within Orthodox Jewish circles, with one well-known blog editorializing that it amounts to a “new radical feminist agenda.” And when a prominent elected local official, Assemblyman Dov Hikind, spoke about it on his weekly radio show, he was criticized for even bringing the subject up.

Rachel Freier, a Hasidic attorney who is representing the women in the Borough Park neighborhood of Brooklyn, said there is a need for emergency services that adhere to the community’s customs of modesty, calling for the sexes to avoid physical contact unless they are related.

“It has nothing to do with feminism,” Freier said. “It has to do with the dignity of women and their modesty.”

She is careful to avoid framing the proposal as a critique of Hatzolah, whose work she says they respect. Instead, she says it is a matter of reclaiming a “job that has been the role of women for thousands of years” — that of midwife. “We are so proud of Hatzolah,” she said. But, she added, “they can’t understand what a woman feels like when she is in labor.”

The volunteer ambulance corps was founded by Rabbi Herschel Weber in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, in the 1960s in response to a perceived delay in responding to emergency calls made by Jewish communities. Today Hatzolah, a Hebrew word that translates as “rescue” or “relief,” has dozens of affiliates around the world, each of them operating independently and often in close coordination with the community they serve. Policies, such as whether women can volunteer, are usually set locally by each affiliate.

It is unclear how many Hatzolah affiliates allow women to volunteer. But in Israel, for instance, United Hatzalah, which responds to more than 112,500 calls per year, has volunteers who are both male and female, as well as secular and Jewish, according to its website.

And the new division being proposed in Brooklyn by the women Freier represents — it would be known as the Ezras Nashim, Hebrew for “women’s section” — would be modeled after a program created more than a year ago in New Square, N.Y., a small, insular Orthodox Jewish community in New York City’s northern suburbs.

But a program for women, with women volunteers, in Borough Park would be far more ambitious in scope and size. Besides being one of the biggest Orthodox Jewish communities in the country, if not the world, the neighborhood had the city’s highest birth rate in 2009 with 26.7 per 1,000 people, according to the Department of Health. That is a lot of babies that need to be delivered.
In this Nov. 9, 2011 photo, Yocheved Lerner demonstrates cardiopulmonary resuscitation technique during a women's-only CPR training session in the Borough Park section of New York.  Lerner is part of a group of Orthodox Jewish women proposing that an all-female unit  join the all-male Hatzolah Volunteer Ambulance Corps to assist women in childbirth or suffering gynecological emergencies.  The proposal stems from a need for emergency services to adhere to the Orthodox Jewish community’s modesty customs that call for the sexes to avoid physical contact unless they are related. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Yocheved Lerner, 49, is one of the women who would like to work as a volunteer for a newly formed all-women Hatzolah division in Brooklyn.

A state-certified emergency medical technician and mother herself, she said her group has a list of about 200 trained Orthodox Jewish women who could respond to medical calls in the neighborhood.

“There are strict rules between men and women, except in the case of Hatzolah,” she said. “The problem is that any number of men might respond to a call on Hatzolah.” That has been a source of “tremendous embarrassment” for some women, she said.

“It’s quite unfortunate that it’s been the case when seven or eight men have responded to a woman in labor call,” she said. “If birth is imminent, that’s how many people are watching. And it’s a very, very troubling situation for a woman.”

She said a core group of about five women had spearheaded the proposal and that it is drawing wider support. She emphasized that in no way did they want to or expect to work alongside the men of Hatzolah, suggesting they could have their own ambulances available to them.

“We don’t want to be socializing with the men of Hatzolah,” she said.

Chevra Hatzalah, a registered nonprofit, serves much of metropolitan New York City, including Borough Park. They dispatch about 50,000 calls a year and have 1,200 volunteers, said its CEO, Rabbi David Cohen.

Interviewed recently about the women’s proposal, Cohen said he had not heard from the group of women directly but had read about their proposal.

Nevertheless, he declined to answer specific questions about it.

“I really haven’t talked to the people. I don’t know what they want exactly,” he said, adding that Hatzolah’s four-member rabbinical board released an internal memo saying that they should not engage in discussions on the matter.

He said a similar proposal had been rejected about 25 years ago — and that nothing had changed since then. “We have an internal statement basically saying we are continuing our policy,” he said.

Heshy Jacobs, a member of Chevra Hatzalah’s executive board, told the popular Orthodox Jewish blog Vos Iz Neias that adding women could affect response time.

“There are many things at which women are superior, but when it comes to speed and physical strength, which are both of the essence in a medical emergency, it is a proven fact that men have an advantage,” Jacobs told VIN News in September. “Additionally we already have systems in place to get our responders in place as quickly as possible. ...By introducing women into the scenario, you are adding another layer to the process and you are talking about a situation where a delay of seconds can literally cost lives.”

Renee Ghert-Zand, a contributor to a blog on women’s issues, Sisterhood, published by the Jewish publication the Forward, said the refusal to allow women to volunteer for Hatzolah was an example of discrimination against women.

“Women have been increasingly marginalized from public life and from public view under the pretext of modesty,” she said. “They’re saying it’s not modest for women to give emergency care. I see absolutely no reason why that should not happen. There are women who are trained in the medical profession.”

Freier said in an email that she had attempted to reach Hatzolah’s CEO and set up a meeting for July or August. “The initial plan was for me to meet with Hatzolah and explain the need for women to join,” she said. However, I was told that the policy of women not joining Hatzolah was set years ago.”

Undeterred, she said she is discussing the matter with rabbinical leaders in the community.

“We’re just trying to make a great organization even better,” she said. “We’re not filing a complaint. We’re coming with a suggestion.”



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1

 Nov 27, 2011 at 02:08 PM TorahTruth Says:

This is not a simple issue as the real issues have little to do with Tznius. As someone who spent many years on Hatzolah in Washington Heights, where we did allow women to be members, I have a unique perspective. The issues in the Heights were due to not having an adequate number of men in the area during day time calls and the Rabbanin allowed women to answer calls in the daytime. I can also attest, having delivered several children, it is uncomfortable for the member as well as the patient, especially in a small community where everyone knows one an other. That being said, there is a practical issue that concerns me. The first rule of emergency aide is speed to the call. I worry that if there was an "Ezras Nashim" women would insist on a women EMT and not the closest available member or worse, the would send away a male who responded to the call insisting on a women instead. This could be an issue of Pekuach Nefesh. I would urge this to be well thought out before anything like this is implemented. Not every great idea makes sense.

2

 Nov 27, 2011 at 02:03 PM Anonymous Says:

Long overdue. Male HAtzolah members are not immune from yetzer horah. We need female EMT's.

3

 Nov 27, 2011 at 01:57 PM JPAC Says:

Fact is most women go to male doctors by their own choice when having babies. If they can keep two diferent groups and use the womens group strictly for women in labor,maybe. But to mix the married men and married women in ambulances all night is dangerous and will only lead to more divorces. Its playing with fire and let our Torah sages deal with it.

5

 Nov 27, 2011 at 02:30 PM SammyL Says:

I'm no expert. My first reaction is: as long as lives are not put in danger it's a good idea. If lives are put in danger it's a bad idea. Now let's let the experts decide the impact. Perhaps there are other issues that I'm sure other posters will think of.

6

 Nov 27, 2011 at 02:33 PM Anonymous Says:

"IF IT AINT BROKEN DONT FIX IT" dont re invent the wheel
so far( past 35 years) hatzola is doing a great job and as far as the complaint of having 8 men at a birth, facts bear otherwise at most their are bet 2-4 members in the room not more.
if these woman want to start their own ambulance squad kol hakovod who ever wants to call them for women related calls bevkasha but dont force yourself onto an organization that has a certain way of running and come to change the status quo

7

 Nov 27, 2011 at 02:35 PM Yossi Says:

I have NO problem with women joining hatzolah but lets get down to reality...Hatzolah members are on the road or in shul or at work 95% of the time..When they recieve a emergency call they drop every thing and usually get to a call within 90 seconds-5 minutes ...A women volunteer wouldnt be called only on a child birth emergency..The female EMT is probably at work or at home doing her daily routine home care..Now when a call comes in she needs to grab a jacket grab her keys and run to get her car from the driveway and rush to a call which is about 2 miles from her home..Now if this happens in the morning between 8-10 am or afternoon 3-5 pm when streets are clogged to tha max i believe she will get there when the baby is delivered....
If anyone feels uncomfortable with Hatzolah they have the option of calling 911 and a paramedic fromMaimoneedes or NYFD usually get there within 7 minutes at the max.
Why is Mrs, Frier making such a big deal over this when there is other options....

8

 Nov 27, 2011 at 02:43 PM cherub Says:

The precedent that this would set is a slippery slope. First it would cause people who are ok with men responding (if they consider the men more capable just like women use men doctors) to be coerced into using the women because of being labeled as a tznius issue, then when male responders have a call they may hesitate if the patient is a women, because it is now labeled a tznius issue.
I do agree that there could be room for a separate all women's volunteer emergency response team unafiliated with the Hatzalah EMT response team a modeled after the old time midwife who came to delivery and similar to midwives who do it today as a practice .by keeping it unaffiliated, people will see it as just another chesed group like doula volunteers and it won't cause a any of the above mentioned issues.

9

 Nov 27, 2011 at 02:47 PM jacob Says:

Totally agree with #2 and #3, let them have a choice if they want female with separate a number for labor emergency only, no 1 is immune from the yetser hora, and men don't belong there, and definitely not join the hatzolah, make 2 organizations.

10

 Nov 27, 2011 at 02:58 PM think and evaluate Says:

I will not comment on right and wrong vis a vis halacha, there are others more knowledgeable.
I will relate to the beginning of Hatzoloh of Flatbush. I was about 20, lived near the ambulance on Ave M and was a science student. I asked to be allowed to train and assist. I was told an emphatic NO. Instead they took a local grocer to drive the ambulance, two weeks after he first got a drivers license. His driving in the snow was a terrible spectacle, it might have costed lives!
Months later they did accept an unmarried young man my age. I guess he had more pull.
Today I am a married health professional. I still remember the story whenever I see so many frum young women in Flatbush with Hatzoloh placards on their dashboard. If women are not accepted to Hatzoloh why are all these placards being misused?

11

 Nov 27, 2011 at 02:55 PM Chodosh is ASSUR! Says:

I despise these leftist leaning women who mish zich aran where they don't belong. The article is there to stir the pot & that's what got done. If women in labor are supposedly embarrassed when they call hatzloa & a bunch of men come running to help them in all hours of the day & night - within minutes - let them go call a cab like an ayno yehudi & see what happens.

12

 Nov 27, 2011 at 02:54 PM Anonymous Says:

After Rebitzen Freier will have her way,"EMS" will mean "Emergency Midwife Service"........

13

 Nov 27, 2011 at 03:05 PM Shulamis Says:

Reply to #7  
Yossi Says:

I have NO problem with women joining hatzolah but lets get down to reality...Hatzolah members are on the road or in shul or at work 95% of the time..When they recieve a emergency call they drop every thing and usually get to a call within 90 seconds-5 minutes ...A women volunteer wouldnt be called only on a child birth emergency..The female EMT is probably at work or at home doing her daily routine home care..Now when a call comes in she needs to grab a jacket grab her keys and run to get her car from the driveway and rush to a call which is about 2 miles from her home..Now if this happens in the morning between 8-10 am or afternoon 3-5 pm when streets are clogged to tha max i believe she will get there when the baby is delivered....
If anyone feels uncomfortable with Hatzolah they have the option of calling 911 and a paramedic fromMaimoneedes or NYFD usually get there within 7 minutes at the max.
Why is Mrs, Frier making such a big deal over this when there is other options....

Your chauvanism is showing...women are also on the road or at work 95% of the time. If they were to receive an emergency call, I am sure that they would drop everything as well to respond to the call. You say you have no problem, but the rest of your email shows that you do.

14

 Nov 27, 2011 at 03:04 PM Yossi Says:

Reply to #9  
jacob Says:

Totally agree with #2 and #3, let them have a choice if they want female with separate a number for labor emergency only, no 1 is immune from the yetser hora, and men don't belong there, and definitely not join the hatzolah, make 2 organizations.

Yous statement makes NO sense...We all knowmen dont belong there ...The men dont run to a call without some one calling Hatzolah..When someone call for HELP ant its an emergency of course the MEN belong there...Yes if would of been more comfort for the patiend when a Female was there but this is NOT an option ...Again your other option is 911 and ask any Hatzolah member they would rather have 911 answer those calls....

15

 Nov 27, 2011 at 03:13 PM SandmanNY Says:

It's a good idea for women to participate in Hatzolah. Much better for tznius for the women. I approve.

16

 Nov 27, 2011 at 03:21 PM Anonymous Says:

as a women, I'd be mortified to have local frum men by a birth. I've heard from other women who feel the same. its a busha, & a womens feelings should be taken into account. there has to be a solution to make everyone semi happy, but by not even bothering to discuss it, they are certainly not gona find one. that's not mentshlichkeit. at least try!!

17

 Nov 27, 2011 at 03:30 PM SherryTheNoahide Says:

"...one well-known blog editorializing that it amounts to a “new radical feminist agenda."


What?! Are they for real?! (lol)

I would think a modest woman would appreciate seeing *another* fellow frum Jew showing up to take care of her needs! I think women wanting to be available for other women shouldn't even be a problem!

What is the issue here?!

18

 Nov 27, 2011 at 03:31 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #6  
Anonymous Says:

"IF IT AINT BROKEN DONT FIX IT" dont re invent the wheel
so far( past 35 years) hatzola is doing a great job and as far as the complaint of having 8 men at a birth, facts bear otherwise at most their are bet 2-4 members in the room not more.
if these woman want to start their own ambulance squad kol hakovod who ever wants to call them for women related calls bevkasha but dont force yourself onto an organization that has a certain way of running and come to change the status quo

I fully agree with you, as a woman, that these women should not impose their will on Hatzolah which is operating on a superior level in providing care, may Hashem reward and protect these selfless volunteers always. these women should start their own separate organization and let those who wish to avail themselves of this new service, do so without forcing Hatzolah to revise what has been working so well all these years.

19

 Nov 27, 2011 at 03:35 PM Anonymous Says:

I have always been under a clear impression that the fabric of what Hatzolah is about is saving a Jewish life and rendering care so that no life is lost. That said... shouldn't the issue of Tznius fall to the back burner and the safe delivery of a new Jewish life take presidence. Things can and do go wrong during what were expected to be normal deliveries.
If I were in severe life threatening distress I really wouldn't care who came to help...just that they come and come quickly.

20

 Nov 27, 2011 at 03:37 PM LoveHashem Says:

Reply to #13  
Shulamis Says:

Your chauvanism is showing...women are also on the road or at work 95% of the time. If they were to receive an emergency call, I am sure that they would drop everything as well to respond to the call. You say you have no problem, but the rest of your email shows that you do.

How would women quickly "drop everything" if they got a call while they"re home taking care of their kids? start calling babysitters?

21

 Nov 27, 2011 at 03:37 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #11  
Chodosh is ASSUR! Says:

I despise these leftist leaning women who mish zich aran where they don't belong. The article is there to stir the pot & that's what got done. If women in labor are supposedly embarrassed when they call hatzloa & a bunch of men come running to help them in all hours of the day & night - within minutes - let them go call a cab like an ayno yehudi & see what happens.

Are you still riding in a horse-drawn cart like your elter-zeide? Do you (gasp!) own a cell phone? Give me a break and stop mishing zich arain where you don't belong. When you are the one having the baby then you'll have a right to have a say in this. (And by the way, the male Hatzoloh members are not trained in delivering a baby. When my daughter needed an emergency home delivery, the Hatzoloh members, who "came to her rescue", did not know what to do and my daughter had to tell them what to do every step of the way.)

22

 Nov 27, 2011 at 03:38 PM SherryTheNoahide Says:

Reply to #11  
Chodosh is ASSUR! Says:

I despise these leftist leaning women who mish zich aran where they don't belong. The article is there to stir the pot & that's what got done. If women in labor are supposedly embarrassed when they call hatzloa & a bunch of men come running to help them in all hours of the day & night - within minutes - let them go call a cab like an ayno yehudi & see what happens.

"I despise these leftist leaning women who mish zich aran where they don't belong."


I find your remarks very disparaging against the women in YOUR community, who only want to help out other frum women such as themselves!

I didn't get the impression that it was some leftist "Femi-Nazi" group who is trying to infringe "where they don't belong"! I got the impression that it's women who genuinely want to be able to provide a service to the female members of the community, and whether they join up w\Hatzolah, or they start their *own* EMT company...

What difference does it make?! They are proper, modest women trying to provide a service to your community!

Just because you disagree w\their method of trying to provide help... doesn't mean they're all "leftist" anarchists!

I wonder how the female members of your family feel when it's clear you have quite a hostile attitude towards any woman who wants to help out!

So I must ask... where do women "belong" in your world? What exactly is our "place" prey tell?

Just curious!

23

 Nov 27, 2011 at 03:42 PM Hatzolah Member Says:

i agree with the idea, but 1st we have to see if the rabonim who r incharged of hatzolah agree, we need daas torah

24

 Nov 27, 2011 at 03:55 PM nombody Says:

I wi reiterate what a couple of other commenter stated: the most important factor here is that qualified medical personnel arrive as quickly as possible to treat people in emergency situations. If this causes one woman to wait longer for female EMTs to arrive instead of letting men who arrived first start dealing with them, then this effort could cost lives. If I'm not mistaken, the Gemara described a chasid shoteh as a man who will not save a drowning woman out of fear of violating the issur of shomer negia

25

 Nov 27, 2011 at 03:55 PM hi Says:

Reply to #10  
think and evaluate Says:

I will not comment on right and wrong vis a vis halacha, there are others more knowledgeable.
I will relate to the beginning of Hatzoloh of Flatbush. I was about 20, lived near the ambulance on Ave M and was a science student. I asked to be allowed to train and assist. I was told an emphatic NO. Instead they took a local grocer to drive the ambulance, two weeks after he first got a drivers license. His driving in the snow was a terrible spectacle, it might have costed lives!
Months later they did accept an unmarried young man my age. I guess he had more pull.
Today I am a married health professional. I still remember the story whenever I see so many frum young women in Flatbush with Hatzoloh placards on their dashboard. If women are not accepted to Hatzoloh why are all these placards being misused?

I do not want to change the subject but want to just comment on your last 2 sentences about the placards, Most of the members have 2 cars so they get 2 placards, thats all, real simple. when they drive the car their mrs is driving the van or suv etc. that has lights and sirens and a placard. Also it looks like you just have a problem with hatzoloh period.

26

 Nov 27, 2011 at 04:30 PM eigner Says:

All those commenting about women being slow, weak should be keep their comments to themselves. There are plenty women in the marines, delta force etc.
The issue here is. Right ALL men have a yeitzer horra. Therefore Hatzolah has an achrayis to make sure that they don't end up working on such calls. Then sitting with these same women a couple times a day/week for 10/20 minutes on the way back to the cars. Discussing the rights/wrongs of such nature calls.
I for 1 would not let my spouse join under such setting.
On the other hand to open a new separate organization. By all means!!!
It's a no brainer!!!!
Just don't force yourself on Hatzolah, Stop destroying them.

27

 Nov 27, 2011 at 04:33 PM newtransplant Says:

It is actually a wonderful idea, Hatzolo here in Manchester won't attend home births if they don't actually have to, so a few females on board wouldn't be a bad idea, even if they are only there for emergency births it would be great! Go for it Mrs Freier

28

 Nov 27, 2011 at 04:16 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #21  
Anonymous Says:

Are you still riding in a horse-drawn cart like your elter-zeide? Do you (gasp!) own a cell phone? Give me a break and stop mishing zich arain where you don't belong. When you are the one having the baby then you'll have a right to have a say in this. (And by the way, the male Hatzoloh members are not trained in delivering a baby. When my daughter needed an emergency home delivery, the Hatzoloh members, who "came to her rescue", did not know what to do and my daughter had to tell them what to do every step of the way.)

I would beg to differ that Hatzalah members are not trained in emergency childbirth. A relative of mine, a Hatzalah EMT for many years, has delivered nearly 20 babies over time. Perhaps your daughter is a control freak who *tried* to tell her rescuers what to do. That sounds more likely.

29

 Nov 27, 2011 at 04:17 PM Shulamis Says:

Reply to #20  
LoveHashem Says:

How would women quickly "drop everything" if they got a call while they"re home taking care of their kids? start calling babysitters?

Those women have no place being on Hatzolah. The original post implied that only men have jobs and (apparently) the free time to be able to take Hatzolah calls.

30

 Nov 27, 2011 at 04:27 PM Butterfly Says:

I am not saying yes or no but what I am suggesting is that ALL women learn CPR!! It is a MUST!! While you are waiting for Hatzollah you can save a life!! I took the CPR course years ago when my parents were elderly and my first was just born!! I wanted to know it JUST IN CASE!! You never know when you need it!! I think this is what the women should start with and then maybe-- MAYBE, go from there!!

31

 Nov 27, 2011 at 04:30 PM ShlomoH Says:

I don't understand the big problem. When the women go into labor aren't their husbands with them? So what If there are other Hatzolah members there too? What are they embarrassed of? When they have their baby in the hospital, there are plenty of men around. Gimme a break!! Puhleeze.....

32

 Nov 27, 2011 at 04:03 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #20  
LoveHashem Says:

How would women quickly "drop everything" if they got a call while they"re home taking care of their kids? start calling babysitters?

when an organization is formulated - they take volunteers who can commit to a prearranged shift where if a call comes in during that time they can go. That means the women who would potentially volunteer would do so within hours they are not at all tied down to kids or anything else. Use your seichal please.

33

 Nov 27, 2011 at 04:03 PM chaim Says:

Reply to #10  
think and evaluate Says:

I will not comment on right and wrong vis a vis halacha, there are others more knowledgeable.
I will relate to the beginning of Hatzoloh of Flatbush. I was about 20, lived near the ambulance on Ave M and was a science student. I asked to be allowed to train and assist. I was told an emphatic NO. Instead they took a local grocer to drive the ambulance, two weeks after he first got a drivers license. His driving in the snow was a terrible spectacle, it might have costed lives!
Months later they did accept an unmarried young man my age. I guess he had more pull.
Today I am a married health professional. I still remember the story whenever I see so many frum young women in Flatbush with Hatzoloh placards on their dashboard. If women are not accepted to Hatzoloh why are all these placards being misused?

“It’s quite unfortunate that it’s been the case when seven or eight men have responded to a woman in labor call,” she said. “If birth is imminent, that’s how many people are watching. And it’s a very, very troubling situation for a woman.”

No, Mrs. Lerner if the birth is imminent they're not watching they're helping, but if you have a womens divison they''ll be helping though and it won't be a very,very troubling situation. (I'm being sarcastic btw :) )

She said a core group of about five women had spearheaded the proposal and that it is drawing wider support. She emphasized that in no way did they want to or expect to work alongside the men of Hatzolah, suggesting they could have their own ambulances available to them.

“We don’t want to be socializing with the men of Hatzolah,” she said.


Good idea open up your own branch of women EMT'S and the patient will decide if they should call your org. or hatzoloh.

34

 Nov 27, 2011 at 04:04 PM Secular Says:

fascinating topic

Firstly: It's admirable and commendable that more people want to help and volunteer in Hatzoloh, an organization that does phenomenal work Yasher Koach to all!

However, there are multiple issues involved in expanding Hatzolo to include women.

1) Yichud problems, not only as it pertains to women riding with men, but women who go on calls and treat and transport male patients may also encounter Yichud problems.

2) Even if there is to be a Women only Obstetric team, the fact that there maybe a delay in locating that team or deferring to that team; may in fact be detrimental to mother and baby, when precious moments are vital.

3) Regarding Shabbos and Pikuach Nefesh. It is clear from the Poskim, that if there is to be chillul Shabbos it should be done by MEN who are well versed in Halacha. This for two reasons: a) To ascertain what is DeOraisa and what is D'Rabanan etc. and b) So that people realize to importance of Pikuach Nefesh in so much as the chillul Shabbos is done by MEN and not women or children, where one could erroneously conclude that Pikuach Nefesh does not override shabbos.

4)...to be continued

35

 Nov 27, 2011 at 04:08 PM chaim Says:

Reply to #21  
Anonymous Says:

Are you still riding in a horse-drawn cart like your elter-zeide? Do you (gasp!) own a cell phone? Give me a break and stop mishing zich arain where you don't belong. When you are the one having the baby then you'll have a right to have a say in this. (And by the way, the male Hatzoloh members are not trained in delivering a baby. When my daughter needed an emergency home delivery, the Hatzoloh members, who "came to her rescue", did not know what to do and my daughter had to tell them what to do every step of the way.)

Are you serious '' the male hatzoloh members are not trained in delivering a baby '' every MALE hatzoloh member are EMT'S and believe it or not to become an emergency medical tech. you need to know how to deliver a baby so......

36

 Nov 27, 2011 at 04:41 PM shredready Says:

Reply to #23  
Hatzolah Member Says:

i agree with the idea, but 1st we have to see if the rabonim who r incharged of hatzolah agree, we need daas torah

try to think for yourself for a change

37

 Nov 27, 2011 at 04:42 PM UseYourHead Says:

How can anyone "stop" them from doing this? It's a free country, they can start their own EMS organization if the existing Hatzoloh won't accept them. Anyone who thinks there is something "unfrum" or "untzniyus" about having women respond to medical emergencies involving other women is either a chauvinist, an idiot, or a chauvinistic idiot.

38

 Nov 27, 2011 at 04:43 PM Secular Says:

4) On a common sense note: The talmud states, that one who refrains from saving a woman drowning in a river is a chassid shoteh. Similarly in cases of life and death issues of perceived Tznius are secondary or non issues.

5) No one is immune from the Yetzer Hora, true, but women aren't immune either.

6) Most Hatzoloh members are bnei Torah, Yirei shamayim. trying to to do the right thing.

7) It seems that obstetric Hatzolo calls are rare. Even more rare, is the woman in actual Labor. For all other cases where exams are not really necessary, it seems superfluous to have women's team when the patient can transport herself to the hospital and so much more so when they have a male physician in charge of their care.

8) Hatzolo...Keep up the good work.

39

 Nov 27, 2011 at 04:54 PM rationalman Says:

Reply to #21  
Anonymous Says:

Are you still riding in a horse-drawn cart like your elter-zeide? Do you (gasp!) own a cell phone? Give me a break and stop mishing zich arain where you don't belong. When you are the one having the baby then you'll have a right to have a say in this. (And by the way, the male Hatzoloh members are not trained in delivering a baby. When my daughter needed an emergency home delivery, the Hatzoloh members, who "came to her rescue", did not know what to do and my daughter had to tell them what to do every step of the way.)

maam...as in everything in life you may come across people that are better at certain things than others....but to say that they (the hatzoloh members) are not trained to deliver a baby and to insinuate that your daughter was trained is being disingenuous at best or foolish/ignorant at worst. I am a member of hatzoloh. I have no desire to discuss my personal feelings if i agree or disagree if female membership is a good idea. What I shall take you to task is in your comments. Shall i tell you of the times that i was at a labor call and a family friend who was a physician was present and it was the doctor that really was clueless as to what to do..? The membership gets the same training that every other EMT/Medic in the state gets. would you rather your daughter be handled by a non-jewish ambulance worker..? you have that right - call 911 not hatzoloh. as a matter of fact please post your family name and address so members will know to bypass your house in times of an emergency being that we are incompetent

40

 Nov 27, 2011 at 04:57 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #31  
ShlomoH Says:

I don't understand the big problem. When the women go into labor aren't their husbands with them? So what If there are other Hatzolah members there too? What are they embarrassed of? When they have their baby in the hospital, there are plenty of men around. Gimme a break!! Puhleeze.....

You are correct - you do not understand. No a husband is not always there when a wife goes into labor. And if a woman in labor is calling Hatzalah to come to her home it either means 1. the birth is imminent and there is not enough time to get to a hospital or 2. she may need transport to the hospital in a timely fashion. In general - you have limited understanding of the choices women make from the time they discover they are pregnant until they deliver. I personally chose an all female Obstetric practice for all my children delivered. Besides the anesthesiologist who gave me an epidural in my bare back, there were no men present at any point during my delivery other than my husband. I am actually a nurse who has worked in labor and delivery and neonatal intensive care. I have seen women make various choices as it relates to which men if any are present. I for one would call 911 over hatzalah if I was to deliver in my home. I have no interest in sharing that experience with a Frum, male member of my small community. This whole idea can come to fruition without volunteered women on call or in cars with the men. It can happen according to modesty and halacha and i hope so

41

 Nov 27, 2011 at 05:02 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #34  
Secular Says:

fascinating topic

Firstly: It's admirable and commendable that more people want to help and volunteer in Hatzoloh, an organization that does phenomenal work Yasher Koach to all!

However, there are multiple issues involved in expanding Hatzolo to include women.

1) Yichud problems, not only as it pertains to women riding with men, but women who go on calls and treat and transport male patients may also encounter Yichud problems.

2) Even if there is to be a Women only Obstetric team, the fact that there maybe a delay in locating that team or deferring to that team; may in fact be detrimental to mother and baby, when precious moments are vital.

3) Regarding Shabbos and Pikuach Nefesh. It is clear from the Poskim, that if there is to be chillul Shabbos it should be done by MEN who are well versed in Halacha. This for two reasons: a) To ascertain what is DeOraisa and what is D'Rabanan etc. and b) So that people realize to importance of Pikuach Nefesh in so much as the chillul Shabbos is done by MEN and not women or children, where one could erroneously conclude that Pikuach Nefesh does not override shabbos.

4)...to be continued

oh your number 3 is so off the mark I do not know where to begin. I have no idea what wayward posek gave you your bright information, but there is absolutely no difference in what gender can be "mechalel shabbos' when it comes to pikuach nefesh and women are very versed in what is pikuach nefesh and halachos pertaining to shabbos and pikuach nefesh. You really need help in your obvious misconception and come to realize the sexism in your baseless comment.

42

 Nov 27, 2011 at 05:11 PM cseichel Says:

Reply to #17  
SherryTheNoahide Says:

"...one well-known blog editorializing that it amounts to a “new radical feminist agenda."


What?! Are they for real?! (lol)

I would think a modest woman would appreciate seeing *another* fellow frum Jew showing up to take care of her needs! I think women wanting to be available for other women shouldn't even be a problem!

What is the issue here?!

You have to brought up in the community to understand the sensitivities involved (on both sides).

43

 Nov 27, 2011 at 05:12 PM A member... Says:

Reply to #21  
Anonymous Says:

Are you still riding in a horse-drawn cart like your elter-zeide? Do you (gasp!) own a cell phone? Give me a break and stop mishing zich arain where you don't belong. When you are the one having the baby then you'll have a right to have a say in this. (And by the way, the male Hatzoloh members are not trained in delivering a baby. When my daughter needed an emergency home delivery, the Hatzoloh members, who "came to her rescue", did not know what to do and my daughter had to tell them what to do every step of the way.)

Really? Have you ever taken an EMT course? There's a whole chapter dedicated to this topic....Maybe your daughter was the issue....Been to many of those over the years - it's called "the egg being smarter than the chicken".

44

 Nov 27, 2011 at 05:32 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
TorahTruth Says:

This is not a simple issue as the real issues have little to do with Tznius. As someone who spent many years on Hatzolah in Washington Heights, where we did allow women to be members, I have a unique perspective. The issues in the Heights were due to not having an adequate number of men in the area during day time calls and the Rabbanin allowed women to answer calls in the daytime. I can also attest, having delivered several children, it is uncomfortable for the member as well as the patient, especially in a small community where everyone knows one an other. That being said, there is a practical issue that concerns me. The first rule of emergency aide is speed to the call. I worry that if there was an "Ezras Nashim" women would insist on a women EMT and not the closest available member or worse, the would send away a male who responded to the call insisting on a women instead. This could be an issue of Pekuach Nefesh. I would urge this to be well thought out before anything like this is implemented. Not every great idea makes sense.

The Hatzolah there is only men

45

 Nov 27, 2011 at 05:33 PM frimeyid Says:

Reply to #27  
newtransplant Says:

It is actually a wonderful idea, Hatzolo here in Manchester won't attend home births if they don't actually have to, so a few females on board wouldn't be a bad idea, even if they are only there for emergency births it would be great! Go for it Mrs Freier

#27 yeah Manchester, the bastion of right headedness. Got on a plane to Poland a few years back and there were a few women going to lizhensk...your boys started showing a fit..."foi women". Yup very progressive.

As a former hatzolah member I ask, Where do u draw the line? Do u wait for a female when the mother of an injured child is afraid of yichud? Or when a female is in respiratory failure, because the family insists you don't touch the heilige rebbitzen? Ruchie, stick to taking care of your college boys.

46

 Nov 27, 2011 at 05:34 PM MINBP Says:

British Study: Half Of All Pregnant Women Could Give Birth At Home Safely

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/25/england-study-home-births_n_1113122.html

47

 Nov 27, 2011 at 05:34 PM username Says:

Reply to #31  
ShlomoH Says:

I don't understand the big problem. When the women go into labor aren't their husbands with them? So what If there are other Hatzolah members there too? What are they embarrassed of? When they have their baby in the hospital, there are plenty of men around. Gimme a break!! Puhleeze.....

Right, because women only go into labor when their husbands are with them.

At least in the hospital, a man milling around isn't likely to be the son of your second grader's rebbe, or your best friend's husband!

48

 Nov 27, 2011 at 05:40 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
TorahTruth Says:

This is not a simple issue as the real issues have little to do with Tznius. As someone who spent many years on Hatzolah in Washington Heights, where we did allow women to be members, I have a unique perspective. The issues in the Heights were due to not having an adequate number of men in the area during day time calls and the Rabbanin allowed women to answer calls in the daytime. I can also attest, having delivered several children, it is uncomfortable for the member as well as the patient, especially in a small community where everyone knows one an other. That being said, there is a practical issue that concerns me. The first rule of emergency aide is speed to the call. I worry that if there was an "Ezras Nashim" women would insist on a women EMT and not the closest available member or worse, the would send away a male who responded to the call insisting on a women instead. This could be an issue of Pekuach Nefesh. I would urge this to be well thought out before anything like this is implemented. Not every great idea makes sense.

Hatzolah members are NOT Doctors. They do not have a speciality in OB/GYN. I am all for women joining Hatzolah. These men have no respect for women! Did you ever think perhaps a 15 year old girl that needs help wants to be helped by WOMEN. Not by these married men! Did you ever think perhaps a Married WOMAN doesnt want her private areas seen by random men? Does she not have a right? Even in some third world countries it is the WOMEN who take care of WOMEN. For the record you see the regaular EMT goyishe ones that have one man and one woman. They seem to be more efficient. Rachel well done! Please stop comparing Doctors, who WENT to medical school, WENT through the screening process with male Hatzolah members who only had basic cpr first aid courses. Hatzolah is no where near professional as EMT services.

49

 Nov 27, 2011 at 05:44 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
TorahTruth Says:

This is not a simple issue as the real issues have little to do with Tznius. As someone who spent many years on Hatzolah in Washington Heights, where we did allow women to be members, I have a unique perspective. The issues in the Heights were due to not having an adequate number of men in the area during day time calls and the Rabbanin allowed women to answer calls in the daytime. I can also attest, having delivered several children, it is uncomfortable for the member as well as the patient, especially in a small community where everyone knows one an other. That being said, there is a practical issue that concerns me. The first rule of emergency aide is speed to the call. I worry that if there was an "Ezras Nashim" women would insist on a women EMT and not the closest available member or worse, the would send away a male who responded to the call insisting on a women instead. This could be an issue of Pekuach Nefesh. I would urge this to be well thought out before anything like this is implemented. Not every great idea makes sense.

What bothers me most about this "men." Really I should call them boys. These boys were raised by none other than a chassidiche. These mothers should have taught their sons to respect a FEMALE. For the comment about women are not as strong as men. I have seen nothing but strong females. Females who raised an entire household. Females how have multiple births. Females who Work and nurture. Women are NATURALLY more helpful than men. Don't ever challenge the ability of a woman to be more helpful in this scenario. You know what. I hope someone takes the time to invest in an all female Hatzolah. I for one would be willing to lend a hand!

50

 Nov 27, 2011 at 05:48 PM Truthseeker Says:

I, who is an average person, have discussed this issue with many other average women. I haven't yet met any woman who is comfortable with the concept of hatzolah men delivering their babies. As wonderful as hatzolah is, if we now have an option to have women do it, you bet it is preferred! The negative comments posted are very obviously by hatzolah members themselves. Mrs Freier is sincerely a community activist who selflessly puts herself in the line of fire for the good of our community needs and we should all appreciate it!

51

 Nov 27, 2011 at 05:48 PM shtill Says:

Most of you are missing the point. The rabbanim are concerned that once you have females trained as EMT's they will be utilized even when the call would not be of the nature they were trained for. Say someone collapses in shul.. In walks mrs Freier to the mens section to administer CPR... Of course at that point it would be the right thing because of pickuach nefesh, but why put them into such a position.

52

 Nov 27, 2011 at 05:54 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
TorahTruth Says:

This is not a simple issue as the real issues have little to do with Tznius. As someone who spent many years on Hatzolah in Washington Heights, where we did allow women to be members, I have a unique perspective. The issues in the Heights were due to not having an adequate number of men in the area during day time calls and the Rabbanin allowed women to answer calls in the daytime. I can also attest, having delivered several children, it is uncomfortable for the member as well as the patient, especially in a small community where everyone knows one an other. That being said, there is a practical issue that concerns me. The first rule of emergency aide is speed to the call. I worry that if there was an "Ezras Nashim" women would insist on a women EMT and not the closest available member or worse, the would send away a male who responded to the call insisting on a women instead. This could be an issue of Pekuach Nefesh. I would urge this to be well thought out before anything like this is implemented. Not every great idea makes sense.

How about compromising. What if Hatzolah allowed for women to take calls regarding sensitive issues such as child birth and other gender complications. They can take all the male and elderly groups as well. Rather than just say NO what is the apprehension. Last time I checked the US female soldiers in the ARMY Afghanistan were stronger than every single Hatzolah member we have here in the States.

53

 Nov 27, 2011 at 05:56 PM qazxc Says:

Reply to #34  
Secular Says:

fascinating topic

Firstly: It's admirable and commendable that more people want to help and volunteer in Hatzoloh, an organization that does phenomenal work Yasher Koach to all!

However, there are multiple issues involved in expanding Hatzolo to include women.

1) Yichud problems, not only as it pertains to women riding with men, but women who go on calls and treat and transport male patients may also encounter Yichud problems.

2) Even if there is to be a Women only Obstetric team, the fact that there maybe a delay in locating that team or deferring to that team; may in fact be detrimental to mother and baby, when precious moments are vital.

3) Regarding Shabbos and Pikuach Nefesh. It is clear from the Poskim, that if there is to be chillul Shabbos it should be done by MEN who are well versed in Halacha. This for two reasons: a) To ascertain what is DeOraisa and what is D'Rabanan etc. and b) So that people realize to importance of Pikuach Nefesh in so much as the chillul Shabbos is done by MEN and not women or children, where one could erroneously conclude that Pikuach Nefesh does not override shabbos.

4)...to be continued

If there is pikuach nefesh involved, the last thing I'd want is some 'lamdan' busy figuring out which is a deoraisa and which is a derabanon.

54

 Nov 27, 2011 at 05:59 PM ad Says:

Reply to #41  
Anonymous Says:

oh your number 3 is so off the mark I do not know where to begin. I have no idea what wayward posek gave you your bright information, but there is absolutely no difference in what gender can be "mechalel shabbos' when it comes to pikuach nefesh and women are very versed in what is pikuach nefesh and halachos pertaining to shabbos and pikuach nefesh. You really need help in your obvious misconception and come to realize the sexism in your baseless comment.

Please look & learn O'rach Chaim Siman 328 S' 12, & you will that you have no clue in Hilchos Shabbos,
its a clear cut M'chaber

55

 Nov 27, 2011 at 06:04 PM Robert Says:

In matters as this one, both sides have valid claims and make cogent arguments.

the one issue i have not seen discussed is the matter of cost and financing what might become essentially a second parallel ambulance corps.
funds are tight in all areas of our world today and ofcourse money spent on hatzollah is well worth it in my opinion. setting up a female run ob/gyn emergency system might make theoretical sense to some, but it also requires seperate administration, duplicate payroll for non-volunteers, additional expensive equipment ( do you know much a properly equipped ambulance costs) ?

eventually they might go to the next level and then totally seperate the sexes.
ie mehadrin only ambulances one system for men and one for women...

maybe its luxury we can afford?
maybe there is a better and more cost effective option?
i am not making a value judgment as to whats right or best, just that it might be expensive on a communal level.

56

 Nov 27, 2011 at 06:04 PM Secular Says:

# 34

RambaM hilchos Shabbos Chapter 2 halacha 3:

כשעושים דברים האלו אין עושין אותן לא ע"י נכרים ולא ע"י קטנים ולא ע"י עבדים ולא ע"י נשים כדי שלא תהא שבת קלה בעיניהם. אלא על ידי גדולי ישראל וחכמיהם. ואסור להתמהמה בחילול שבת לחולה שיש בו סכנה שנאמר אשר יעשה אותם האדם וחי בהם ולא שימות בהם. הא למדת שאין משפטי התורה נקמה בעולם אלא רחמים וחסד ושלום בעולם. ואלו האפיקורוסים שאומרים שזה חילול שבת ואסור עליהן הכתוב אומר גם אני נתתי לכם חוקים לא טובים ומשפטים לא יחיו בהם

The Maggid Mishne:
כשעושין דברים וכו'. ברייתא שם וגיר' ההלכות והגאונים ואין עושין דברים הללו לא ע"י נכרים ולא ע"י קטנים אלא בגדולי ישראל ואין אומרים לעשות דברים הללו לא ע"י נשים ולא ע"י נכרים מפני שמצטרפין לדעת אחרת. ומה שכתב רבינו כדי שלא תהא שבת קלה בעיניהם נראה שהוא פירוש למה שאמרו מפני שמצטרפין לדעת אחרת ואע"פ שכלל רבינו עמהם קטנים ונכרים אין הטעם הזה אלא לנשים ועבדים

Similarly look at the shulchan aruch and mishna Berurah.

In addition Obstetric calls may be perceived by some as less urgent if they are relegated to a women's team, and that is certainly not acceptable.

Your issue is with the RambaM and the Shulchan Aruch (and the Gemara) not me...

I'm all for equal pay

57

 Nov 27, 2011 at 06:45 PM Anonymous Says:

Some of the comments pertaining to this subject, are very disturbing. One commentator referred to a situation, whereby male patients would be placed in the care of female EMT's. If someone is a patient in a hospital, do they only ask for male nurses, instead of female nurses? If someone goes to a dentist, are they prohibited from having a female dental hygienist clean their teeth? There are females who only prefer other females as their health professionals, whether it be their family physician or other specialists. Hence, they should have that option, if they wish to. We are not living in societies (such as in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, or Saudi Arabia), where women are 4th rate citizens. In summary, let frum women join Hatzalah as paramedics. Let us be respectful to them, and not assume that there might be liaisons, because there are males and females on an emergency run. One would think that there is plenty on their plates, to occupy their attention during during an emergency.

58

 Nov 27, 2011 at 06:36 PM Hi to you Says:

Reply to #25  
hi Says:

I do not want to change the subject but want to just comment on your last 2 sentences about the placards, Most of the members have 2 cars so they get 2 placards, thats all, real simple. when they drive the car their mrs is driving the van or suv etc. that has lights and sirens and a placard. Also it looks like you just have a problem with hatzoloh period.

I admit to having a problem with placards being used when the Hatzoloh member is not the person using the car and is far away.
I have many friends that give 110% to Hatzoloh and I am stating a clear Kol haKovod to the serious members. I will admit that today I do not have the strength, physical and mental to deal with what serious members do.

59

 Nov 27, 2011 at 06:36 PM Anon12345 Says:

There is at least one major problem in my eyes. Routine child birth can be handled by someone with the necessary training - even without a lot of experience.

What happens when something goes wrong? Breech Birth, Prolapsed Cord, etc. Wouldn't you rather have someone there who deals with true emergencies on a daily basis? Even if most Hatzalah members don't routinely deliver babies, they are still highly effective in emergencies. What happens if the infant is c"v not breathing. Will that be the time to call Hatzalah to intubate, give drugs, etc.?

If all that these women do is childbirth emergencies, then how much TRUE emergency experience will they have?

What happens if the patient is 9 months pregnant and has abdominal pain? Call Ezras Nashim... then it turns out that the patient is really having an Abdominal Aortic Anuerism... What happens is the patient is having the true life threatening emergency of eclampsia? Will you have the basic EMT with the very basic training treating these patients? Even if they are ER/OB nurses, etc. In the field they won't be able to legally operate above the EMT level.

60

 Nov 27, 2011 at 06:18 PM Sherree Says:

Maybe the issue that should be addressed is NOT to take labor and delivery so lightly, and don't wait till the last minute to go to the hospital. Make plans for your delivery, have a game plan, have a bag packed, know who you are calling to watch your other kids, have your phone numbers handy, know how you are getting to the hospital, know who is taking you if your husband isn't home, don't wait for him to get home if your contractions are too close and too strong. Ask your doctors all the questions you need to ask. Don't go into labor by surprise, be prepared for labor, understand what it is and what to expect.

61

 Nov 27, 2011 at 06:16 PM Anonymous Says:

Not only do I have a clue in Hilchos Shabbos - I am a woman involved in the start up of Hatzalah in a Midwestern city with a very reputable posek. I do not need your input. The only reason that Females are currently not responders has to do with the the way in which male responders are together on call waiting to be dispatched. Women in our city are trained to be dispatchers and that includes much that has to do with being "machalel shabbos" while taking phone calls on shabbos and yom tovim and dispatching the responders. The whole concept of pikuach nefesh is really one that absolves you from putting "that" much thought into the concept of being mechalel shabbos. Even if a call does not seem "life threatening" per se - according to reputable poskim the responders still go on a call and dispatchers still make the call because you do not want a future case of someone hesitant to call hatzalah because you determined the last time they called that it was not a matter of pikuach nefesh. Unless you sit down with a reputable Posek over these matters as it relates to hatzalah - do not quote me your sources.

62

 Nov 27, 2011 at 06:15 PM Frum Medical Student Says:

I posted a comment when this idea first come up on vosizneias, and I think it pays to be repeated. Opening a branch of frum female EMT's will fill an important need within our community. Whether it will be exclusively for women in labor, or for regular emergency responses, like successfully instituted in other jewish community, it is something that we should support! Its a little embarrassing to see that some people have such backward and low outlook on women and their role within our community and our torah! I really hope the negative and misogynistic comments represent a very minor and uneducated part of the otherwise beautiful community. I can only hope that once this program is instituted and successful will people realize how wonderful it is.

63

 Nov 27, 2011 at 07:25 PM username Says:

Reply to #45  
frimeyid Says:

#27 yeah Manchester, the bastion of right headedness. Got on a plane to Poland a few years back and there were a few women going to lizhensk...your boys started showing a fit..."foi women". Yup very progressive.

As a former hatzolah member I ask, Where do u draw the line? Do u wait for a female when the mother of an injured child is afraid of yichud? Or when a female is in respiratory failure, because the family insists you don't touch the heilige rebbitzen? Ruchie, stick to taking care of your college boys.

You're still missing the point. The treatment of a woman in respiratory failure is different that the treatment of a woman giving birth. If you still don't understand why, I'm not spelling it out for you.

64

 Nov 27, 2011 at 07:27 PM Anonymous Says:

Unfortunately, I have needed Hatzalah a few times (not for birth.) I live in a walk-up & I am not a small woman (NOT fat!!!) It needed the physical strength of male Hatzalah members to carry me down to the ambulance. Women just wouldn't be able to lift me.

I know this because it takes SIX of us in the Chevra Kadisha to lift even a small female meis.

As for the embarrassment of a male delivering a baby: I know of Hatzlah members who had to deliver their grandchildren. I know of women who gave birth in public - you want to know what that is like? I WAS ONE! Now THAT is embarrassing, being in a hallway in the hospital with strangers watching in utter fascination & me not making it to a room.

How about (another time) when my husband's friend was the on-duty doctor? It was him or nobody.

Women: stop being so PC. Let these guys do what they are trained to do. Believe me, they don't care who you are, you are a Yid in pain & they look after you. Grow up & leave Hatzalah to the men. Women don't have to prove themselves any more & we don't have to do everything men do.

65

 Nov 27, 2011 at 07:27 PM missyid Says:

Reply to #59  
Anon12345 Says:

There is at least one major problem in my eyes. Routine child birth can be handled by someone with the necessary training - even without a lot of experience.

What happens when something goes wrong? Breech Birth, Prolapsed Cord, etc. Wouldn't you rather have someone there who deals with true emergencies on a daily basis? Even if most Hatzalah members don't routinely deliver babies, they are still highly effective in emergencies. What happens if the infant is c"v not breathing. Will that be the time to call Hatzalah to intubate, give drugs, etc.?

If all that these women do is childbirth emergencies, then how much TRUE emergency experience will they have?

What happens if the patient is 9 months pregnant and has abdominal pain? Call Ezras Nashim... then it turns out that the patient is really having an Abdominal Aortic Anuerism... What happens is the patient is having the true life threatening emergency of eclampsia? Will you have the basic EMT with the very basic training treating these patients? Even if they are ER/OB nurses, etc. In the field they won't be able to legally operate above the EMT level.

If women are trained to deliver babies and all they do is go out on childbirth related calls then they will gain the same experience in that specialty field that Hatzalah does. In addition - I think they are going out to work on the initial delivery aspect, and this should in no way eliminate Hatzalah male responders and transport so that if a baby needed intubation the Hatzalah member is there as well to follow through with the baby.
That being said, as a nurse who worked in both labor and delivery and neonatal intensive care, I can assure you that all the potential for complications such as breech birth, and pre-eclampsia ( no responders do c-sections in the field ever, so only natural delivery can eliminate pre-eclampsia in the field) shoulder distocia, meconium aspirate may lead to an unfortunate outcome "just the same" as in hospital regardless of who is attempting to deliver that baby. The need for transport is the issue, not what a woman can do vs. a male in the field.
In addition, abdominal aortic aneurism is really a stretch my friend. It is already a rare occurrence and anyone trained as an emt knows that a male over a certain age with abdominal pain falls into the

66

 Nov 27, 2011 at 07:29 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #59  
Anon12345 Says:

There is at least one major problem in my eyes. Routine child birth can be handled by someone with the necessary training - even without a lot of experience.

What happens when something goes wrong? Breech Birth, Prolapsed Cord, etc. Wouldn't you rather have someone there who deals with true emergencies on a daily basis? Even if most Hatzalah members don't routinely deliver babies, they are still highly effective in emergencies. What happens if the infant is c"v not breathing. Will that be the time to call Hatzalah to intubate, give drugs, etc.?

If all that these women do is childbirth emergencies, then how much TRUE emergency experience will they have?

What happens if the patient is 9 months pregnant and has abdominal pain? Call Ezras Nashim... then it turns out that the patient is really having an Abdominal Aortic Anuerism... What happens is the patient is having the true life threatening emergency of eclampsia? Will you have the basic EMT with the very basic training treating these patients? Even if they are ER/OB nurses, etc. In the field they won't be able to legally operate above the EMT level.

cont.
category but when a call for a nine month pregnant women is called in (which typically has her within a safe age range away from aaa) with abdominal pain, dispatch and responders are trained to believe that is childbirth first and foremost not aaa.

67

 Nov 27, 2011 at 07:31 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #60  
Sherree Says:

Maybe the issue that should be addressed is NOT to take labor and delivery so lightly, and don't wait till the last minute to go to the hospital. Make plans for your delivery, have a game plan, have a bag packed, know who you are calling to watch your other kids, have your phone numbers handy, know how you are getting to the hospital, know who is taking you if your husband isn't home, don't wait for him to get home if your contractions are too close and too strong. Ask your doctors all the questions you need to ask. Don't go into labor by surprise, be prepared for labor, understand what it is and what to expect.

That is all lovely in theory, but an imminent birth has nothing to do with how well one plans and prepares. It is inevitable that some women will unavoidably end up in a situation where they can not get to a hospital in time.

68

 Nov 27, 2011 at 07:57 PM 5towns Says:

As a woman who has delivered children I will tell you that all of my doctors are women. Even my dentist. I am totally uncomfortable with a male doctor, especially an OBGYN. In my opinion the women that prefer men are the shotahs, there are plenty of very very good female, even frum female, OBGYNs. Unless she needs very specific specialized care, she will have no problem finding a very qualified female to deliver her.
This is a very important need in the community, to save the boosha that the woman in labor feels (yes she does and no man can say she doesn't)

69

 Nov 27, 2011 at 08:06 PM i say Says:

Reply to #61  
Anonymous Says:

Not only do I have a clue in Hilchos Shabbos - I am a woman involved in the start up of Hatzalah in a Midwestern city with a very reputable posek. I do not need your input. The only reason that Females are currently not responders has to do with the the way in which male responders are together on call waiting to be dispatched. Women in our city are trained to be dispatchers and that includes much that has to do with being "machalel shabbos" while taking phone calls on shabbos and yom tovim and dispatching the responders. The whole concept of pikuach nefesh is really one that absolves you from putting "that" much thought into the concept of being mechalel shabbos. Even if a call does not seem "life threatening" per se - according to reputable poskim the responders still go on a call and dispatchers still make the call because you do not want a future case of someone hesitant to call hatzalah because you determined the last time they called that it was not a matter of pikuach nefesh. Unless you sit down with a reputable Posek over these matters as it relates to hatzalah - do not quote me your sources.

Sorry , but there was 2 posters with quotes from our Torah , Shlichon Eurich, will u are only quoting some Midwestern very reputable posek ,& no name!

70

 Nov 27, 2011 at 08:13 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #48  
Anonymous Says:

Hatzolah members are NOT Doctors. They do not have a speciality in OB/GYN. I am all for women joining Hatzolah. These men have no respect for women! Did you ever think perhaps a 15 year old girl that needs help wants to be helped by WOMEN. Not by these married men! Did you ever think perhaps a Married WOMAN doesnt want her private areas seen by random men? Does she not have a right? Even in some third world countries it is the WOMEN who take care of WOMEN. For the record you see the regaular EMT goyishe ones that have one man and one woman. They seem to be more efficient. Rachel well done! Please stop comparing Doctors, who WENT to medical school, WENT through the screening process with male Hatzolah members who only had basic cpr first aid courses. Hatzolah is no where near professional as EMT services.

I was really thinking of not commenting on your ignorant stuped post but I couldn't help myself. To say that '' these men have no respect for women! is just a false comment I don't know where you grew up, in what kind of household, but to say that over 1000 men have no respect for women is just dumb. And also saying that the non-jewish ems has one lady and one men is false also . There are crews that do ride one man - one woman but not most. Saying that ''hatzoloh members only have basic cpr first aid course, and that hatzoloh is no where near professional as EMT services is just really really dumb. Every member is Certified EMT just like the ''professionals''. Apparently you have an agenda with hatzoloh as a whole. I f you feel more comfortable call 911 I'm sure they're willing to help you. I know when I was a patient i wanted a person who knew what he was doing fast & cared so my family called hatzoloh. When you speak against a whole org. who drop everything at a moments notice and speak bad about them saying they're not professional etc. it just shows that you're out there to make problems. I take this very personnel having being helped by hatzoloh, who did a great job.

71

 Nov 27, 2011 at 08:21 PM lbk-new Says:

Reply to #61  
Anonymous Says:

Not only do I have a clue in Hilchos Shabbos - I am a woman involved in the start up of Hatzalah in a Midwestern city with a very reputable posek. I do not need your input. The only reason that Females are currently not responders has to do with the the way in which male responders are together on call waiting to be dispatched. Women in our city are trained to be dispatchers and that includes much that has to do with being "machalel shabbos" while taking phone calls on shabbos and yom tovim and dispatching the responders. The whole concept of pikuach nefesh is really one that absolves you from putting "that" much thought into the concept of being mechalel shabbos. Even if a call does not seem "life threatening" per se - according to reputable poskim the responders still go on a call and dispatchers still make the call because you do not want a future case of someone hesitant to call hatzalah because you determined the last time they called that it was not a matter of pikuach nefesh. Unless you sit down with a reputable Posek over these matters as it relates to hatzalah - do not quote me your sources.

Putting the whole male vs. female issue aside for a second, the fact that hatzalah members do melachah even when pekuach nefesh is not an immediate concern is certainly because of potential issues in the future. Maybe a long-time hatzalah member can help me with the exact details of the story, but 35 years ago, Hatzalahs of Flatbush and Boro Park did things diffeon R' Moshe's psak, Flatbush members always drove their cars home from calls in case they needed them again while Boro Park members left their cars at the scene of the shabbos call based on the Boro Park posek (Tchebina Rov?). One shabbos some members in Flatbush got a call to respond to a woman hemorhaging in Boro Park & there were no Boro Park members available, since they had all previously responded to calls, & didnt come back with their cars. The Flatbush members responded to the call and saved the woman's life. The woman turned out to be the daughter of the posek who originally ruled that members had to leave their cars at the scene, and he realized how returning cars can affect pikuach nefesh at a later time, and changed his psak. Hatzalah is and always has been about saving lives....

73

 Nov 27, 2011 at 08:29 PM Secular Says:

#61

" The whole concept of pikuach nefesh is really one that absolves you from putting "that" much thought into the concept of being mechalel shabbos. "

That is precisely the attitude the aforementioned Poskim are trying to prevent.

Pikuach Nefesh does NOT absolve putting thought into chillul shabbos!! That it's why traditionally chillul shabos was relegated to MEN who were talmidei chachomim.

This has nothing to do with women's ability or intelligence. Nobody is being mysogynistic. Not every difference between men and women is a product of chauvinism. Grow up and get that large chip off your shoulder.

On a different note: If Men are called upon to be mechalel Shabbos families need to count on their wives to uphold the sanctity of Shabbos for the sake of the children even when shabbos is disrupted by an emergency.

I bet some of the proponents of womens' Hatzolo are staunch opponets of Women Paskening ...just a thought.

74

 Nov 27, 2011 at 08:35 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #51  
shtill Says:

Most of you are missing the point. The rabbanim are concerned that once you have females trained as EMT's they will be utilized even when the call would not be of the nature they were trained for. Say someone collapses in shul.. In walks mrs Freier to the mens section to administer CPR... Of course at that point it would be the right thing because of pickuach nefesh, but why put them into such a position.

You are either a bad comedian or mamash a true am haoretz. If there is a question of pikuach nefesh, then all the halachos of shabbos, tzinius or whatever go out the window. If some narrow minded men want to keep their Hatzaloh units closed to women, that is their right since it is a voluntary organziation. However, I'm willing to bet that once qualified women joing some units in a parallel group, the remaining all-male units will simply shrivel up and disappear. Mixed units like the have in EY are the wave of the future.

75

 Nov 27, 2011 at 08:40 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #64  
Anonymous Says:

Unfortunately, I have needed Hatzalah a few times (not for birth.) I live in a walk-up & I am not a small woman (NOT fat!!!) It needed the physical strength of male Hatzalah members to carry me down to the ambulance. Women just wouldn't be able to lift me.

I know this because it takes SIX of us in the Chevra Kadisha to lift even a small female meis.

As for the embarrassment of a male delivering a baby: I know of Hatzlah members who had to deliver their grandchildren. I know of women who gave birth in public - you want to know what that is like? I WAS ONE! Now THAT is embarrassing, being in a hallway in the hospital with strangers watching in utter fascination & me not making it to a room.

How about (another time) when my husband's friend was the on-duty doctor? It was him or nobody.

Women: stop being so PC. Let these guys do what they are trained to do. Believe me, they don't care who you are, you are a Yid in pain & they look after you. Grow up & leave Hatzalah to the men. Women don't have to prove themselves any more & we don't have to do everything men do.

First - who says that women can not go out on call for childbirth and still have hatzalah male responders show up for transport to assist in physical transport issues? (I'll just bypass the fact that general EMT's include both men and women who all assist "together" in lifting and transport)
Second - this has nothing to do with being PC or trying to "prove" that women have to do the same things men do. This is about appealing to and appeasing and making available for those women who are just uncomfortable with the only current option offered to them when they call hatzalah. There is nothing wrong with that.

76

 Nov 27, 2011 at 08:55 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #69  
i say Says:

Sorry , but there was 2 posters with quotes from our Torah , Shlichon Eurich, will u are only quoting some Midwestern very reputable posek ,& no name!

so...
the quote itself from shulchan aruch is not even explained well.
In the first place for Pikuach nefesh "anyone" can be mechalel shabbos.
The concept of stating that if both male and female would be equal in the siyuation it is better to ask a male to be mechalel shabbos is because chazal were worried that women would take this to mean if they are asked to be mechalel shabbos that this is some leniency (like asking a child to be mechalel shabbos0 and then in future situations they may just automatically become more lenient with the concept of shabbos.
First - this is an error in the first place
Second - the point that the poster did not emphasize is 'all things being equal". If women are now demanding the availability of women for childbirth then it is no longer equal in the eyes of the women who are in dire need on a shabbos or yom tov.
I have no reason to mention my source and our posek as I am only responding to the original poster of shulchan aruch and not trying to make a generality to the public. I am involved in Hatzalah and as a dispatcher and a woman will be allowed to be mechalel shabbos in any situation that arises calling for hatzalah period.

77

 Nov 27, 2011 at 08:57 PM GoldieLocks Says:

I think this is a great idea! Obviously, the details must be worked out so that the response time and level of care will not be negatively impacted, but I'm sure Mrs. Freier and the rest of the Ezras Nashim ladies are already working on that. I wish them lots of success!

78

 Nov 27, 2011 at 08:58 PM RachelJD Says:

Reply to #31  
ShlomoH Says:

I don't understand the big problem. When the women go into labor aren't their husbands with them? So what If there are other Hatzolah members there too? What are they embarrassed of? When they have their baby in the hospital, there are plenty of men around. Gimme a break!! Puhleeze.....

Let me 'splain it to you in simple terms. There is nothing problematical about a husband being with his wife who is in labor. He's seen her before. Sure there are plent of men around, such as doctors, technicians, and male nurses, but once the woman delivers, she doesnt see those men again. Unlike the case of a Hatzolah volunteer who she sees every day in the community, in shul, etc. For the record, I am not against Hatzolah. They were fantastic with my father in law and with me when I was first married. I used to joke that I had them on speed dial. I personally do not care what gender the person is who comes to me in a medical emegency as long as they are competent. But that's just me. I am sensitive enough to understand that some women may feel differerently when it comes to childbirth. Tell me ShlomoH, are you perfectly comfortable with your having your wife's intimate parts seen by your shul cronies? I find the misogynistic, ignorant comments made by some posters very disturbing. People dont agree with Ms Freir wll geh gesundheit, but saying that she is pushing a feminist agenda is ridiculous. Disagree with the message, but dont attack the messenger.

79

 Nov 27, 2011 at 09:03 PM CSLMoish Says:

Why can't women start their own organization hatzalah does not have or own the mitzvah of hatzalas nefashos and women can use this new service for labor emergencies. Never mind seconds count I have heard many times when men don't respond until 3rd or 4th time that dispatcher announced call

80

 Nov 27, 2011 at 09:04 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #51  
shtill Says:

Most of you are missing the point. The rabbanim are concerned that once you have females trained as EMT's they will be utilized even when the call would not be of the nature they were trained for. Say someone collapses in shul.. In walks mrs Freier to the mens section to administer CPR... Of course at that point it would be the right thing because of pickuach nefesh, but why put them into such a position.

Why put them into such a position? So women should not get any training because it might put them into position to save a life? Sure in shul there is certain to be a hatzolah member around. But what about everywhere else? What about the grocery store, etc. People should learn CPR regardless of their gender

81

 Nov 27, 2011 at 09:04 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #73  
Secular Says:

#61

" The whole concept of pikuach nefesh is really one that absolves you from putting "that" much thought into the concept of being mechalel shabbos. "

That is precisely the attitude the aforementioned Poskim are trying to prevent.

Pikuach Nefesh does NOT absolve putting thought into chillul shabbos!! That it's why traditionally chillul shabos was relegated to MEN who were talmidei chachomim.

This has nothing to do with women's ability or intelligence. Nobody is being mysogynistic. Not every difference between men and women is a product of chauvinism. Grow up and get that large chip off your shoulder.

On a different note: If Men are called upon to be mechalel Shabbos families need to count on their wives to uphold the sanctity of Shabbos for the sake of the children even when shabbos is disrupted by an emergency.

I bet some of the proponents of womens' Hatzolo are staunch opponets of Women Paskening ...just a thought.

You are wrong. As I mentioned - once a call comes in on Shabbos one can be mechalel shabbos even if the reality is the call is not pikuach nefesh. I do not mean that we go about the actual call just as if it is weekday without considering Shabbos. This has nothing to do with men being "talmedai chachamim" and women not. Every Hatzalah program set up in every city has incorporated poskim and the members follow those poskim. The members are not chosen from their community to be a part of Hatzalah because they took a test in Halachos and it proved they are "talmedai chachamim". Any woman potentially involved in Hatzalah would also follow the guidance of the posek chosen by that city or neighborhood. As a poster mentioned above, the psak about not returning in a car. This psak of being able to drive home has been in existence for Doctors forever. But not because they might need to return to the hospital for another emergency. The psak is in place because if Doctors were not allowed to drive back home after call, we would worry that they would not want to drive to the call in the first place. The chip must be on your shoulder because it is not on mine.

82

 Nov 27, 2011 at 09:10 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #71  
lbk-new Says:

Putting the whole male vs. female issue aside for a second, the fact that hatzalah members do melachah even when pekuach nefesh is not an immediate concern is certainly because of potential issues in the future. Maybe a long-time hatzalah member can help me with the exact details of the story, but 35 years ago, Hatzalahs of Flatbush and Boro Park did things diffeon R' Moshe's psak, Flatbush members always drove their cars home from calls in case they needed them again while Boro Park members left their cars at the scene of the shabbos call based on the Boro Park posek (Tchebina Rov?). One shabbos some members in Flatbush got a call to respond to a woman hemorhaging in Boro Park & there were no Boro Park members available, since they had all previously responded to calls, & didnt come back with their cars. The Flatbush members responded to the call and saved the woman's life. The woman turned out to be the daughter of the posek who originally ruled that members had to leave their cars at the scene, and he realized how returning cars can affect pikuach nefesh at a later time, and changed his psak. Hatzalah is and always has been about saving lives....

Your example of how the rabbi realized that his psak was endangering lives is 100% pertinent! If someone can be mechalel shabbos to save a life, then a woman should not be embarrassed if a man is trying to help her.

I am extremely concerned that, in the name of tznius, that women and/or babies will, chas v'shalom, suffer great harm or death. Let's say that all the female teams are out on calls; would the next frum woman who requests help be endangering herself if she requests only women? Worse even, would there be social pressure on her to request only women? Would she and her family be judged unfavorably if people found out that the Hatzoloh team was male? Worst of all----would some askan put pressure on rebbeim to assur men treating women?!

If there is even the smallest chance that a woman could suffer harm or die, then the closest Hatzoloh team MUST be the first responders, no matter what their gender!!!

83

 Nov 27, 2011 at 09:11 PM EMTPRO Says:

As a Frum Female EMT, I have to say that many people have misguided ideas about the work of EMT'S. Firstly in most of the world half of the EMT'S are female. Females are just as capable as men. Second: I think that it should be woman responding to other calls for females not just OB/GYN calls. When a patient is in cardiac arrest the chest needs to be exposed. No female wants a male to expose her chest no matter what her condition is. Of course if there are no female members available a male member should respond. I do agree that female and male members should not mingle, but there is a huge need for female EMT'S. PEOPLE SHOULD NOT BE SO QUICK TO WRITE OFF THIS IDEA. A group of females should be formed to respond to these calls.

84

 Nov 27, 2011 at 09:14 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #60  
Sherree Says:

Maybe the issue that should be addressed is NOT to take labor and delivery so lightly, and don't wait till the last minute to go to the hospital. Make plans for your delivery, have a game plan, have a bag packed, know who you are calling to watch your other kids, have your phone numbers handy, know how you are getting to the hospital, know who is taking you if your husband isn't home, don't wait for him to get home if your contractions are too close and too strong. Ask your doctors all the questions you need to ask. Don't go into labor by surprise, be prepared for labor, understand what it is and what to expect.

So you claim that women are taking labor and delivery lightly and are waiting for the last minute to go to this hospital. And you know this how? Because calls are made to Hatzolah. Your advice is good but arrogant as you seem to assume that women are not doing this. A pregnant woman can make all the pre-arrangments she wants, arrange a ride to the hospital, yadda, yadda, yadda. NONE of that guarantess that there will not be an emergency or that she will go into labor only when her ride to the hospital is available.

85

 Nov 27, 2011 at 09:37 PM stam a guy Says:

Personnally I think its a good idea. Every neighborhood should have a few female Hatzolo members for just this type of s situation. Doesn't mean they are available or answer to all calls. An OB call or a sensitive matter can be dispacthed to the female responders and if they are not available than the men can respond. I see no problem with this at all.

86

 Nov 27, 2011 at 09:44 PM mewhoze Says:

The doctor or nurse could be a neighbor too. The EMS person could be a neighbor. The mikvah lady is a neighbor. Emergency situations cancel out shabbos, yom tov, and any other high holiday so what's the difference here. NOTHING!!!
People are forgetting this is an emergency service not a convenience service. Hatzolah members do what they do because they are quick and responsible and not cause they say well let me call some woman to deal with this pregnant lady who might be shy. Is she shy when the doctor who may be a male comes in? Would she be shy if she got into a car accident and went to a trauma center and only males are working and have to cut her clothing off? Even if her OB doc is female is there a guarantee she will be there when the woman is ready to give birth? What if she goes into labor upstate instead of in bklyn?

87

 Nov 27, 2011 at 10:01 PM Secular Says:

Reply to #83  
EMTPRO Says:

As a Frum Female EMT, I have to say that many people have misguided ideas about the work of EMT'S. Firstly in most of the world half of the EMT'S are female. Females are just as capable as men. Second: I think that it should be woman responding to other calls for females not just OB/GYN calls. When a patient is in cardiac arrest the chest needs to be exposed. No female wants a male to expose her chest no matter what her condition is. Of course if there are no female members available a male member should respond. I do agree that female and male members should not mingle, but there is a huge need for female EMT'S. PEOPLE SHOULD NOT BE SO QUICK TO WRITE OFF THIS IDEA. A group of females should be formed to respond to these calls.

When a patient is in cardiac arrest, they are dead. They are not concerned with tznius at that time. The objection to women as EMT's is halachic and culturally based. NOT because of chauvinism!

88

 Nov 27, 2011 at 10:12 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #83  
EMTPRO Says:

As a Frum Female EMT, I have to say that many people have misguided ideas about the work of EMT'S. Firstly in most of the world half of the EMT'S are female. Females are just as capable as men. Second: I think that it should be woman responding to other calls for females not just OB/GYN calls. When a patient is in cardiac arrest the chest needs to be exposed. No female wants a male to expose her chest no matter what her condition is. Of course if there are no female members available a male member should respond. I do agree that female and male members should not mingle, but there is a huge need for female EMT'S. PEOPLE SHOULD NOT BE SO QUICK TO WRITE OFF THIS IDEA. A group of females should be formed to respond to these calls.

As a woman, I would like you to know that if I were, chas v'shalom, in great danger and in need of cardiac compressions, I do NOT care if the person doing this is male.

In my original post (#82), I warned of the "slippery slope"---and your comment just confirmed my point. First, it's concerns about pregnant women and tznius. Then, it's concerns about female cardiac patients and tznius. Soon, it will be concerns about any woman for any reason and tznius. If only men can treat other men and only women can treat other women, then people, chas v'shalom, might die because they waited for their gender-specific Hatzoloh team.

89

 Nov 27, 2011 at 10:16 PM mewhoze Says:

#83, yes, let's first see if we can get a woman emt to come for a heart attack. after they wait to get a response from a female (for a few minutes) and if none are available, then reach out to a male. oh, wait...the person is already gone....BDE.
now wasnt that a stupid idea?
a true professional does not point and giggle at male or female parts. a true professional assesses the emergency and treats the patient. does not make comment before, during or after the call.
obviously many here either are not true professionals or dont know many.
i have the good fortune of knowing quite a few and would not have a problem whether a male or female responded if i were in distress.

90

 Nov 27, 2011 at 10:24 PM Melfer Says:

Reply to #26  
eigner Says:

All those commenting about women being slow, weak should be keep their comments to themselves. There are plenty women in the marines, delta force etc.
The issue here is. Right ALL men have a yeitzer horra. Therefore Hatzolah has an achrayis to make sure that they don't end up working on such calls. Then sitting with these same women a couple times a day/week for 10/20 minutes on the way back to the cars. Discussing the rights/wrongs of such nature calls.
I for 1 would not let my spouse join under such setting.
On the other hand to open a new separate organization. By all means!!!
It's a no brainer!!!!
Just don't force yourself on Hatzolah, Stop destroying them.

You think that a new, separate organization, with all of the hundreds of thousands — millions — of dollars it would entail in equipment, infrastructure, man-hours (woman-hours?) and insurance, is a no-brainer?! Anyone who seriously thinks that is a no-brainer. We have families that can't afford food; others are struggling to pay tuition each month, and you want to fix something that isn't broken by duplicating Hatzalah, of all things? That's just about the dumbest idea ever. Like it or not, the matter of whether women should be Hatzalah first responders was decided nearly two generations ago. Perhaps it should be revisited one day but from a practical, financial standpoint, *now* is definitely not the time.

91

 Nov 27, 2011 at 10:33 PM SaraBasSara Says:

A huge thanks to and a question for Chevra Hatzolah

This past friday, Rebbetzin W as brought in for a chest xray to my place of employment via ambulance by three outstanding Hatzolah members. They were accompanied by a younger Rebbetzin W, the patient's daughter in law. Our receptionist called me to the front desk to ask me if we would be able to do the chest xray for the patient without moving her from the chair she was in.

Reb W the younger recognized me and explained the situation and one of the Hatzolah members asked me if the xray could be done as soon as possible because they did not want to tie up the ambulance any longer than necessary. I told them both that we would get her in and out as soon as possible, but that we needed to have a minimum of paperwork done so that we would have a name to go along with the xray. "I am sure you can appreciate protocol," I said to the senior EMT. "Of course, and we'll help you all we can," he replied. "And we'll take all the help we can get.. It is all about teamwork, after all," I said, leaving them to their forms.

Forms underway, we headed back to the xray room, with EMTs pushing the chair. In the xray room, they asked if I wanted them to move her onto the table, and I said, no, we'll just do it in the chair. When I handed them a hospital gown and told them that she needed to remove her clothing from the waist up, they all looked at each other and then one asked me if there was a nurse who could do it, while another suggested the daughter in law. All three men stepped out to the hallway while the daughter in law and I got her changed, positioned the film, and did the xray. The daughter in law asked if one of the Hatzolah members could wear the lead gown and stay with her for the xray, but I told her that they would have to consent to being exposed to (the small amount of) radiation involved, and that they really aren't required to do so as part of their service. She understood, and apron-clad, helped me herself.

As soon as the films were checked, I helped the daughter in law dress the patient and get her rebundled in the blankets and seatbelts before calling the EMTs back in. I thanked them all for their help, and they were off, in and out, literally in less than 20 minutes, with absolutely zero friction or issue.

To recap, in less than 20 minutes, qualified trained professionals of two sexes interacted in a tznius and appropriate way to provide the best possible service to a patient, with no non-essential interaction (I did not even get the basics of their names) , and maximum positive, cooperative necessary interaction.

So, a huge thanks to those outstanding Hatzolah members!

And now for my question: If that worked so smoothly, why would it automatically NOT work smoothly had the patient been having a baby? You were all three obviously relieved to have someone female there to change the patient's clothing, and quite content to wait in the hallway while the patient was cared for by a trained female professional. You were right there within hearing distance, and could have responded with alacrity had I callled for additional help, which I would not have hesitated to do had I needed it.

(Obviously, you would not have delayed care to await an xray tech of any certain sex, nor would any reasonable person expect you to.)

So, why, if she is qualified, available and on the scene, can a female EMT __not__ deliver babies while you stand as backup in the hallway? For the life of me, I cannot understand.

92

 Nov 27, 2011 at 10:45 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #60  
Sherree Says:

Maybe the issue that should be addressed is NOT to take labor and delivery so lightly, and don't wait till the last minute to go to the hospital. Make plans for your delivery, have a game plan, have a bag packed, know who you are calling to watch your other kids, have your phone numbers handy, know how you are getting to the hospital, know who is taking you if your husband isn't home, don't wait for him to get home if your contractions are too close and too strong. Ask your doctors all the questions you need to ask. Don't go into labor by surprise, be prepared for labor, understand what it is and what to expect.

And what do you advise the woman who goes into pre-term labor in her third month and has contractions for the entire duration of her pregnancy? How is she supposed to know when she needs to go to the hospital, huh? Even the doctors don't have an answer for that one.

93

 Nov 27, 2011 at 11:01 PM NYPDEMS Says:

As a member of Hatzalah and a member of 911 I am disgusted from what some people here are writing. I treat both Jewish people and non Jewish people both in the 911 system and in Hatzalah. We and I speak for most of EMTS and Paramedics do not go around looking at patients in a perverted way. Those that do that should and have been fired or dismissed. I have never seen in the 15 years I have been a part of Hatzalah and EMS any EMT or Paramedic treat a female in any other way then the right way of being sensitive and kind. Yes there have been problems in many organizations and EMS groups but that is with every type of job anywhere, Jewish or not, American or not. We must look to this interest of woman working with Hatzalah as maybe something to look into and ask the Halachic authorities for guidance. We as regular religious jewish people must sit aside and let the Rabbi's discuss and come to a conclusion. To make a story up saying women in cardiac arrest wouldn't want a neighbor to see them topless while the EMT or Paramedic is doing chest compressions is foolish. Ask a person who is post cardiac arrest to see if they are embarrised or if they are going to thank that person forever.

94

 Nov 27, 2011 at 11:10 PM NYPDEMS Says:

We have to stop saying that there are people out there looking to find some sexual enjoyment from going on a Hatzalah call when there is someone in need of medical attention for a life or dealth situation. In a call that there is a woman giving birth a few members are dispatched because you don't have one patient anymore. YOU HAVE TWO PATIENTS. These two patients can either be healthy with Hashems help or there can be a turn when you have two critical patients. Speaking for myself here, there is no enjoyment in seeing a woman give birth except for the fact that a life is being born after all the killing and hatered that is going on in the world. We must stop assuming that there is need to pervert peoples outlook on Hatzalah members. In the 911 world and you are giving birth it is a 1 in a 100 you will get a female EMT or Paramedic. If you are so set on having a female deliver your baby either,
1) Go to the hospital before your due date or make sure you are there before you go into labor
2) Make sure you do not want to go from Far Rockaway to Manhattan and think the 45 minute trip will be ok without medical attention especially if it is not your first child.

95

 Nov 27, 2011 at 11:14 PM NYPDEMS Says:

One more thing to say on this matter. If there is any issue with any EMT or Paramedic treating a patient in a matter that is not the proper way it should be reported to the Hatzalah coordinator if it is a Hatzalah member or a FDNY LT or Captain if it is a 911 call. This things should never happen and if G-d forbid it does then as in every part of the world there are bad apples in every tree and we must all help each other to get rid of the apples and only have the ones who do this job in a proper way. The reason of helping one another no matter who they are and what is wrong. Treat the person, go back to your own life, and thank Hashem for giving you the skills to do it.
I hope everyone sees that this could be a good idea but with all the bad words people are saying here about one another Jewish or non Jewish is not a positive thing and we should stop speaking about our own neighbors who are always there to help us when we are in need. May we all be able to stay healthy and not ever need Hatzalah or 911 and may M'shiach come now!!

96

 Nov 27, 2011 at 11:17 PM L&D RN Says:

Reply to #92  
Anonymous Says:

And what do you advise the woman who goes into pre-term labor in her third month and has contractions for the entire duration of her pregnancy? How is she supposed to know when she needs to go to the hospital, huh? Even the doctors don't have an answer for that one.

huh? A woman who goes into pre-term labor which does not result in delivery is only going to be sent home if the "dilating" contractions cease and all is well. (she may be sent home on some level of bed rest) If she is sent home and has contractions that are not braxton hicks she will know they are labor contractions and will attempt to return to the hospital. I do not understand your statement "contractions for the entire duration of her pregnancy? How is she supposed to know when she needs to go to the hospital," A woman knows the difference between braxton hicks and contractions that are intensifying in pain and proximity to one another. What exactly is your question?

97

 Nov 27, 2011 at 11:36 PM shtill Says:

Most of you are missing the point. The rabbanim are concerned that once you have females trained as EMT's they will be utilized even when the call would not be of the nature they were trained for. Say someone collapses in shul.. In walks mrs Freier to the mens section to administer CPR... Of course at that point it would be the right thing because of pickuach nefesh, but why put them into such a position.

98

 Nov 27, 2011 at 11:39 PM Anonymous Says:

I'm a woman and have chosen all female doctors when possible. B"H I have been gebentched by the Aibershter with many children, one of whom was delivered partly by Hatzolah and partly by hospital personnel, working together in a Hatzolah ambulance. And while I would have definitely preferred the assistance of the female midwife who was waiting for me inside the hospital, the Hatzolah members who were with me, who to my initial chagrin happened to be neighbors and family friends, were so extra-sensitive to my discomfort. Yes, it was difficult to face them for those first few months after the birth, but all that faded, B"H, as the joy of another healthy neshoma spread through our home.

While I understand that not all members are as sensitive as these and that some patients have had negative experiences while being treated by hatzola during an emergency, I think the focus might need to be some ehrllichkeit and mentchlichkeit "training" to ensure that the dignity and femininity of yiddishe women are not CH"V violated - in ANY way - during a hatzolah call rather than training an all-new brigade of female EMTs, despite their equal qualifications.

99

 Nov 27, 2011 at 11:56 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #97  
shtill Says:

Most of you are missing the point. The rabbanim are concerned that once you have females trained as EMT's they will be utilized even when the call would not be of the nature they were trained for. Say someone collapses in shul.. In walks mrs Freier to the mens section to administer CPR... Of course at that point it would be the right thing because of pickuach nefesh, but why put them into such a position.

That is not what Rabbanim are concerned about. The good Samaritan law was created to "encourage" (and protect) anyone who offers assistance to anyone in need anywhere due to sudden accident or medical need. This means that any woman can offer her knowledge in CPR whether she is in Hatzalah or just a passer by. Rabbanim never put out an edict that women can never perform cpr or conduct any medical help on a man that is in need. I as a nurse have a responsibility actually. If I was in shul and a man went down and no one else was stepping up to perform any medical intervention, and hatzalah was not there, I would not hesitate to perform cpr on that man and any other life saving techniques. It would be my duty. Rabbanim do not want the "cohabitation" that ensues amongst on call first responders as they are waiting for calls to exist between man and woman. I understand that. This does not take away from the fact that it is possible to incorporate women into Hatzalah without that being an issue.

100

 Nov 28, 2011 at 12:00 AM NYPDEMS Says:

Reply to #98  
Anonymous Says:

I'm a woman and have chosen all female doctors when possible. B"H I have been gebentched by the Aibershter with many children, one of whom was delivered partly by Hatzolah and partly by hospital personnel, working together in a Hatzolah ambulance. And while I would have definitely preferred the assistance of the female midwife who was waiting for me inside the hospital, the Hatzolah members who were with me, who to my initial chagrin happened to be neighbors and family friends, were so extra-sensitive to my discomfort. Yes, it was difficult to face them for those first few months after the birth, but all that faded, B"H, as the joy of another healthy neshoma spread through our home.

While I understand that not all members are as sensitive as these and that some patients have had negative experiences while being treated by hatzola during an emergency, I think the focus might need to be some ehrllichkeit and mentchlichkeit "training" to ensure that the dignity and femininity of yiddishe women are not CH"V violated - in ANY way - during a hatzolah call rather than training an all-new brigade of female EMTs, despite their equal qualifications.

I agree with your last comment that there should be training for OB/GYN or any type of sensitive calls such as emotionally disturbed patients, overdoses, suicidal, and so on. We have Shabbos Shiuring to know what to do on Shabbos and we should have sensitivity classes to deal with things of that nature. Now let me comment on your first comment. Yes you felt weird a little while after you delivered your baby B''H that you delivered a baby. In the past 15 years there have been many occasions where a male has been urinating blood or was working at a construction site and was injured in a private area. Do you think that male felt better about himself and wasn't shy around me? Of course he was but like every emergency I and many many others treat the patient with the most respect and act professionally. We deal with people in urgent situations and we must always remember to be sensitive and kind to whoever and whatever is going on. Male, female, medical, trauma, psych, and so on. We all must respect one another and look out to help one another. Not make anyone feel nervous or shy. Any type of emergency when one does for another makes the person being helped feel shy or funny. Its normal

101

 Nov 28, 2011 at 01:34 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #93  
NYPDEMS Says:

As a member of Hatzalah and a member of 911 I am disgusted from what some people here are writing. I treat both Jewish people and non Jewish people both in the 911 system and in Hatzalah. We and I speak for most of EMTS and Paramedics do not go around looking at patients in a perverted way. Those that do that should and have been fired or dismissed. I have never seen in the 15 years I have been a part of Hatzalah and EMS any EMT or Paramedic treat a female in any other way then the right way of being sensitive and kind. Yes there have been problems in many organizations and EMS groups but that is with every type of job anywhere, Jewish or not, American or not. We must look to this interest of woman working with Hatzalah as maybe something to look into and ask the Halachic authorities for guidance. We as regular religious jewish people must sit aside and let the Rabbi's discuss and come to a conclusion. To make a story up saying women in cardiac arrest wouldn't want a neighbor to see them topless while the EMT or Paramedic is doing chest compressions is foolish. Ask a person who is post cardiac arrest to see if they are embarrised or if they are going to thank that person forever.

Again to the fools challenging my comments. Hatzolah members ARE not trained doctors. Hatzolah members went to training only for a few weeks... I am highly offended as a female, and as a woman with two female Doctors D-o-c-t-o-r in my family OB/GYN and frum!!! They worked really hard to be educated and help women. Yet we are stuck with these men who really just want a walkie talkie to be something in the neighborhood, not to mention the tax deductions. Women are so much more capable then what some of you ignorant misogynistic male Frummies think. Even in the Torah women were delivered by other women. Stop with the whole Rabbonim having to decide. This isn't an issue. Allow us women to HELP other women. It is unbelievable how insecure these man are because really the truth is they don't want to be shown up, they don't want their position taken away. You'd be surprised how many Frum women would volunteer and adequately drive, carry person, provide safety, and follow through on protocol!

102

 Nov 28, 2011 at 01:57 AM Sol Says:

Once again, I give lots of credit to Mrs R. Freier for standing up for what she and many women believe in. Protecting our women's dignity and Tzinas is part of the Hatzolas Nefoshas puzzle that will make it an even better organisation. I'm part of Hatzolah and I can totally relate to those ladies that claim that they felt uncomfortable during and after. I'm just scratching my head trying to imagine it working out in practicality. But Mrs F deserves an A+ for not letting negative thoughts into her way of what she feels is only right. Ruchy you have my support!!

103

 Nov 28, 2011 at 05:24 AM esq Says:

Reply to #7  
Yossi Says:

I have NO problem with women joining hatzolah but lets get down to reality...Hatzolah members are on the road or in shul or at work 95% of the time..When they recieve a emergency call they drop every thing and usually get to a call within 90 seconds-5 minutes ...A women volunteer wouldnt be called only on a child birth emergency..The female EMT is probably at work or at home doing her daily routine home care..Now when a call comes in she needs to grab a jacket grab her keys and run to get her car from the driveway and rush to a call which is about 2 miles from her home..Now if this happens in the morning between 8-10 am or afternoon 3-5 pm when streets are clogged to tha max i believe she will get there when the baby is delivered....
If anyone feels uncomfortable with Hatzolah they have the option of calling 911 and a paramedic fromMaimoneedes or NYFD usually get there within 7 minutes at the max.
Why is Mrs, Frier making such a big deal over this when there is other options....

men also have to get their keys etc. you donr like the proposal but yr criticism dosent make sense

104

 Nov 28, 2011 at 05:28 AM dear Mrs. Frier Says:

Reply to #7  
Yossi Says:

I have NO problem with women joining hatzolah but lets get down to reality...Hatzolah members are on the road or in shul or at work 95% of the time..When they recieve a emergency call they drop every thing and usually get to a call within 90 seconds-5 minutes ...A women volunteer wouldnt be called only on a child birth emergency..The female EMT is probably at work or at home doing her daily routine home care..Now when a call comes in she needs to grab a jacket grab her keys and run to get her car from the driveway and rush to a call which is about 2 miles from her home..Now if this happens in the morning between 8-10 am or afternoon 3-5 pm when streets are clogged to tha max i believe she will get there when the baby is delivered....
If anyone feels uncomfortable with Hatzolah they have the option of calling 911 and a paramedic fromMaimoneedes or NYFD usually get there within 7 minutes at the max.
Why is Mrs, Frier making such a big deal over this when there is other options....

Just start your own org. Dont waste your time barking up an old tree. Call it Ezras Nashem and let women call them instead of hatzolah. But, make sure you have female ALS which means you'll hv to tap into the frum female medical establishment.

105

 Nov 28, 2011 at 05:33 AM Jackie Says:

Reply to #7  
Yossi Says:

I have NO problem with women joining hatzolah but lets get down to reality...Hatzolah members are on the road or in shul or at work 95% of the time..When they recieve a emergency call they drop every thing and usually get to a call within 90 seconds-5 minutes ...A women volunteer wouldnt be called only on a child birth emergency..The female EMT is probably at work or at home doing her daily routine home care..Now when a call comes in she needs to grab a jacket grab her keys and run to get her car from the driveway and rush to a call which is about 2 miles from her home..Now if this happens in the morning between 8-10 am or afternoon 3-5 pm when streets are clogged to tha max i believe she will get there when the baby is delivered....
If anyone feels uncomfortable with Hatzolah they have the option of calling 911 and a paramedic fromMaimoneedes or NYFD usually get there within 7 minutes at the max.
Why is Mrs, Frier making such a big deal over this when there is other options....

The men who oppose women joining are ignorant. Women take things much more seriously than men, and wont use their fancy equipment as a status symbol. Men are so hyped up and add way too much testosterone to the whole issue. Use your heads, people are offering to take calls for women in labor, you can do the rest. Dont worry, women dont want to socialize with you and they arent interested in the kibbitzing that also goes on on calls - they have families and responsibilities to return to.

106

 Nov 28, 2011 at 05:44 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #83  
EMTPRO Says:

As a Frum Female EMT, I have to say that many people have misguided ideas about the work of EMT'S. Firstly in most of the world half of the EMT'S are female. Females are just as capable as men. Second: I think that it should be woman responding to other calls for females not just OB/GYN calls. When a patient is in cardiac arrest the chest needs to be exposed. No female wants a male to expose her chest no matter what her condition is. Of course if there are no female members available a male member should respond. I do agree that female and male members should not mingle, but there is a huge need for female EMT'S. PEOPLE SHOULD NOT BE SO QUICK TO WRITE OFF THIS IDEA. A group of females should be formed to respond to these calls.

agree. plus, most crdiac arrests are older women who may be less sensitive to men seeing then without clothing.

107

 Nov 28, 2011 at 05:54 AM funny Says:

Reply to #83  
EMTPRO Says:

As a Frum Female EMT, I have to say that many people have misguided ideas about the work of EMT'S. Firstly in most of the world half of the EMT'S are female. Females are just as capable as men. Second: I think that it should be woman responding to other calls for females not just OB/GYN calls. When a patient is in cardiac arrest the chest needs to be exposed. No female wants a male to expose her chest no matter what her condition is. Of course if there are no female members available a male member should respond. I do agree that female and male members should not mingle, but there is a huge need for female EMT'S. PEOPLE SHOULD NOT BE SO QUICK TO WRITE OFF THIS IDEA. A group of females should be formed to respond to these calls.

Cant imagine why men wd object to women handling ob calls. This has been the toradikkah way forever. ever heard of a doula? ever heard of a male doulah? thought not. BTW, most hatzolah men dont want the ob calls, in fact, many of them are taking too many calls anyway - this wd free them up a little so they can remain in shul and pray to G-d. Reduce bittul torah as they say.

108

 Nov 28, 2011 at 05:59 AM or worse Says:

Reply to #20  
LoveHashem Says:

How would women quickly "drop everything" if they got a call while they"re home taking care of their kids? start calling babysitters?

they could be in Macys. Or in the kollel store, or getting their nails done, or on the phone. They could leave the kids with their husbands btw.

109

 Nov 28, 2011 at 06:05 AM ignorant Says:

Reply to #11  
Chodosh is ASSUR! Says:

I despise these leftist leaning women who mish zich aran where they don't belong. The article is there to stir the pot & that's what got done. If women in labor are supposedly embarrassed when they call hatzloa & a bunch of men come running to help them in all hours of the day & night - within minutes - let them go call a cab like an ayno yehudi & see what happens.

leftist leaning??? R u nuts? Ruchie is chasidish, not leftist. This is a male chauvinism issue, plain and simple. They dont want to lain in shul, they dot want to occupy the male mitzvah field here -- just provide a much needed service to women. Truthfully, if an OB call comes in they can ask the caller do they want the closest unit or do they want to wait for a female responder. Get a liability release and fartig.

110

 Nov 28, 2011 at 07:23 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #97  
shtill Says:

Most of you are missing the point. The rabbanim are concerned that once you have females trained as EMT's they will be utilized even when the call would not be of the nature they were trained for. Say someone collapses in shul.. In walks mrs Freier to the mens section to administer CPR... Of course at that point it would be the right thing because of pickuach nefesh, but why put them into such a position.

Why put them into such a position? Because otherwise someone could DIE. Would you rather have NO women trained at all?

I find it peculiar that THIS is what you find objectionable. Chas v'shalom that a woman might be the only one trained in CPR (sarcastic.....).

What's really objectionable is the scenario in which women will put their lives in danger by insisting on only women Hatzoloh teams. If someone is in danger, then it should make NO difference as to the gender of the medical personnel.

The rabbonim are concerned, rightfully so, that lives might be in danger if there is even a minute's delay in medical care, not necessarily if the person doing CPR by the shtender might be a woman (if no man is available to do so).

111

 Nov 28, 2011 at 08:04 AM Oncologist Says:

There is not a place for "the Rabbonim" in every situation in life. In cases of pikuach nefresh - and that is what Hatzola deals in - there is no such issue as tznua or not tznua, there is only the issue of pikuach nefesh. Of course no lady wants her male neighbor, or her husband's chavrusa seeing her delivering her baby but would she prefer to have no one to call on?

112

 Nov 28, 2011 at 08:07 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #97  
shtill Says:

Most of you are missing the point. The rabbanim are concerned that once you have females trained as EMT's they will be utilized even when the call would not be of the nature they were trained for. Say someone collapses in shul.. In walks mrs Freier to the mens section to administer CPR... Of course at that point it would be the right thing because of pickuach nefesh, but why put them into such a position.

Because "they", that is "she", may be the shaliach in the right place - the mens section - at the right time - during davening - to save another yiddishe neshoma. Can you think of anything more important than that?

113

 Nov 28, 2011 at 09:14 AM MiamiSavta Says:

Reply to #40  
Anonymous Says:

You are correct - you do not understand. No a husband is not always there when a wife goes into labor. And if a woman in labor is calling Hatzalah to come to her home it either means 1. the birth is imminent and there is not enough time to get to a hospital or 2. she may need transport to the hospital in a timely fashion. In general - you have limited understanding of the choices women make from the time they discover they are pregnant until they deliver. I personally chose an all female Obstetric practice for all my children delivered. Besides the anesthesiologist who gave me an epidural in my bare back, there were no men present at any point during my delivery other than my husband. I am actually a nurse who has worked in labor and delivery and neonatal intensive care. I have seen women make various choices as it relates to which men if any are present. I for one would call 911 over hatzalah if I was to deliver in my home. I have no interest in sharing that experience with a Frum, male member of my small community. This whole idea can come to fruition without volunteered women on call or in cars with the men. It can happen according to modesty and halacha and i hope so

Although my days of having babies are behind me, maybe I can still shed some light on this. When I was having my children, it did not matter to me one bit if the medical person was male or female, except this...I chose the SECOND most kind and qualified OB I knew to deliver my babies. Why the second and not first? Because that honor goes to my (male) cousin, who is not the person I wished to see in that situation! In a small connected community, there is a fair likelihood that the person coming out on a call will be a person known to the patient. And if they don't recognize each other at that time, they very well may later on. For this reason, I completely support the idea of a qualified team of female EMTs to handle these calls and avoid embarrassment for women of the community.

It would be a waste of precious resources to start a completely new organization and find the money to buy it ambulances. There is no issue with men and women using the same equipment at different times.

For the men of the community who are standing on tradition for its own sake, try to imagine the shoe on the other foot...or the glove on the other anatomy!

114

 Nov 28, 2011 at 09:35 AM Robert Says:

Reply to #113  
MiamiSavta Says:

Although my days of having babies are behind me, maybe I can still shed some light on this. When I was having my children, it did not matter to me one bit if the medical person was male or female, except this...I chose the SECOND most kind and qualified OB I knew to deliver my babies. Why the second and not first? Because that honor goes to my (male) cousin, who is not the person I wished to see in that situation! In a small connected community, there is a fair likelihood that the person coming out on a call will be a person known to the patient. And if they don't recognize each other at that time, they very well may later on. For this reason, I completely support the idea of a qualified team of female EMTs to handle these calls and avoid embarrassment for women of the community.

It would be a waste of precious resources to start a completely new organization and find the money to buy it ambulances. There is no issue with men and women using the same equipment at different times.

For the men of the community who are standing on tradition for its own sake, try to imagine the shoe on the other foot...or the glove on the other anatomy!

i personally have no problem with a new parallel or even female competing organization ...

however sharing of equipment as you imply, is not practical as you need to build redundancy into the system. for example, if an OB/GYN call is out to take in a woman in labor, the ambulance will not be available for the male cardiac patient.
ultimately, seperating the sexes will cost dollars.
perhaps it is money well spent, i am not sure however.

the bottom line, in my judgement a new oraganization catering to women exclusively may make sense on some level as you describe, however it will cost tremendous amounts of money,
probably millions to service a community such as brooklyn let alone other locations in the nyc area.

the financials need to be considered in the final analysis, ie who pays and how much.

115

 Nov 28, 2011 at 09:54 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #113  
MiamiSavta Says:

Although my days of having babies are behind me, maybe I can still shed some light on this. When I was having my children, it did not matter to me one bit if the medical person was male or female, except this...I chose the SECOND most kind and qualified OB I knew to deliver my babies. Why the second and not first? Because that honor goes to my (male) cousin, who is not the person I wished to see in that situation! In a small connected community, there is a fair likelihood that the person coming out on a call will be a person known to the patient. And if they don't recognize each other at that time, they very well may later on. For this reason, I completely support the idea of a qualified team of female EMTs to handle these calls and avoid embarrassment for women of the community.

It would be a waste of precious resources to start a completely new organization and find the money to buy it ambulances. There is no issue with men and women using the same equipment at different times.

For the men of the community who are standing on tradition for its own sake, try to imagine the shoe on the other foot...or the glove on the other anatomy!

You are mixing up two different aspects of hatzalah. 1. is "first responders" - the first one to get there and 2. is "transport" - having ambulances. Women can get involved with Hatzalaha and utilize their own cars to get to the scene quickly. The ambulances that already exist can show up as well. The only extra equipment needed if the incorporation of women for specifically OB calls is put in place, is OB bags and instruments (this includes oxygen). Hatzalah men can show up as well with the rig and more equipment. Clearly if the men show up first and she is in dire need it would be in her best interest to allow Hatzalah men to begin the process. But the point is to create a system where the women can easily show up first or at the same time. This can be done utilizing very minimum extra resources. When a new Hatzalah organization starts up it does not even have transportation rigs right away. That comes later after it is established and either a rig can be donated or money raised. It meant that Hatzalah were just first responders and showed up with life saving equipment fast and 911 ambulances followed.

116

 Nov 28, 2011 at 09:56 AM ad Says:

Reply to #113  
MiamiSavta Says:

Although my days of having babies are behind me, maybe I can still shed some light on this. When I was having my children, it did not matter to me one bit if the medical person was male or female, except this...I chose the SECOND most kind and qualified OB I knew to deliver my babies. Why the second and not first? Because that honor goes to my (male) cousin, who is not the person I wished to see in that situation! In a small connected community, there is a fair likelihood that the person coming out on a call will be a person known to the patient. And if they don't recognize each other at that time, they very well may later on. For this reason, I completely support the idea of a qualified team of female EMTs to handle these calls and avoid embarrassment for women of the community.

It would be a waste of precious resources to start a completely new organization and find the money to buy it ambulances. There is no issue with men and women using the same equipment at different times.

For the men of the community who are standing on tradition for its own sake, try to imagine the shoe on the other foot...or the glove on the other anatomy!

Had that cousin, been a female, would have gone to her?
Do you want your next door neighbor (the 1 with who you shmooze while waiting for the bus)
to be the one coming to the rescue?

117

 Nov 28, 2011 at 10:13 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #101  
Anonymous Says:

Again to the fools challenging my comments. Hatzolah members ARE not trained doctors. Hatzolah members went to training only for a few weeks... I am highly offended as a female, and as a woman with two female Doctors D-o-c-t-o-r in my family OB/GYN and frum!!! They worked really hard to be educated and help women. Yet we are stuck with these men who really just want a walkie talkie to be something in the neighborhood, not to mention the tax deductions. Women are so much more capable then what some of you ignorant misogynistic male Frummies think. Even in the Torah women were delivered by other women. Stop with the whole Rabbonim having to decide. This isn't an issue. Allow us women to HELP other women. It is unbelievable how insecure these man are because really the truth is they don't want to be shown up, they don't want their position taken away. You'd be surprised how many Frum women would volunteer and adequately drive, carry person, provide safety, and follow through on protocol!

Why are you so bitter? No where in this article does it say the women are doctors and no where does it say that the hatzoloh members are trying to be doctors. All hatzoloh members are trained EMT'S , and thats what this'' ezras nushim'' branch is going to be, also EMT'S. Also I find it highly OFFENSIVE as I have many hatzoloh members in my family not joining for the walkie talkie and tax deductions but to help people. I truly hope you think for a second before you rant. Thank you and have a wonderful morning and remember if you have such a problem with hatzoloh you can call 911.

118

 Nov 28, 2011 at 10:31 AM Aryeh Says:

The single most popular Jewish OB practice in Brooklyn is an all female group. There is a huge demand for this and a dangerous lack of women physicians. Better that these women attend medical school if they want to make a difference.

119

 Nov 28, 2011 at 11:02 AM an east sider Says:

how many women are ready to run out & leave the kids alone when the men are in shul or run out from a shabbos seuda or a pesach seder let's be rialistic the only ones are proster woman who I am sure noone wants them answering hatzolah calls no matter what the matav is

120

 Nov 28, 2011 at 11:24 AM mewhoze Says:

Reply to #101  
Anonymous Says:

Again to the fools challenging my comments. Hatzolah members ARE not trained doctors. Hatzolah members went to training only for a few weeks... I am highly offended as a female, and as a woman with two female Doctors D-o-c-t-o-r in my family OB/GYN and frum!!! They worked really hard to be educated and help women. Yet we are stuck with these men who really just want a walkie talkie to be something in the neighborhood, not to mention the tax deductions. Women are so much more capable then what some of you ignorant misogynistic male Frummies think. Even in the Torah women were delivered by other women. Stop with the whole Rabbonim having to decide. This isn't an issue. Allow us women to HELP other women. It is unbelievable how insecure these man are because really the truth is they don't want to be shown up, they don't want their position taken away. You'd be surprised how many Frum women would volunteer and adequately drive, carry person, provide safety, and follow through on protocol!

#101, as a female , as a wife and mother and aunt of multiple hatzolah members I most defenitely take offense by your obnoxious comment about the walkie talkies and tax deductions. For years I have witnessed my family members getting up at all hours of the night , in all weathers (including last years december snowstorm) and on all the yom tovim (including right after yom kippur is over before they even had a chance to take a glass of water) to help someone in need. They did not say ''its icy out'' or ''I'm thirsty'' or '' I'm tired''. They got up and did what needed to be done. The Chutzpah inflected in your comment of the walkie talkies and tax deduction really made me nauseous. I would love to see you walk in their shoes but that would never happen as they are selfless individuals who care for their fellow person rather than nit pick and make nasty digs here. As the person who takes care of my families income tax forms let me tell you that we don't itemize the mileage or wear and tear done on our vehicles nor do we list that clothing has gotten torn or ruined during a call taking care of someone in need. But for those who do itemize those things, they are entitled to do so.

121

 Nov 28, 2011 at 11:28 AM mewhoze Says:

Reply to #101  
Anonymous Says:

Again to the fools challenging my comments. Hatzolah members ARE not trained doctors. Hatzolah members went to training only for a few weeks... I am highly offended as a female, and as a woman with two female Doctors D-o-c-t-o-r in my family OB/GYN and frum!!! They worked really hard to be educated and help women. Yet we are stuck with these men who really just want a walkie talkie to be something in the neighborhood, not to mention the tax deductions. Women are so much more capable then what some of you ignorant misogynistic male Frummies think. Even in the Torah women were delivered by other women. Stop with the whole Rabbonim having to decide. This isn't an issue. Allow us women to HELP other women. It is unbelievable how insecure these man are because really the truth is they don't want to be shown up, they don't want their position taken away. You'd be surprised how many Frum women would volunteer and adequately drive, carry person, provide safety, and follow through on protocol!

continued--
the fact that you have doctors in your family is just lovely. Kol Hakavode to them as well.
There is so much more I could sit and write with regard to your post but it really won't do anything to change your small mindedness.
Hopefully someday you will realize what a blessing these members of Hatzola are to Klal Yisroel and see that you have erred in your words.
As for myself, I pray that each and every Member be safe and healthy and happy and Hashem should watch over them so that they can continue doing the wonderful work they do.
AMEN!

122

 Nov 28, 2011 at 11:54 AM MiamiSavta Says:

Reply to #116  
ad Says:

Had that cousin, been a female, would have gone to her?
Do you want your next door neighbor (the 1 with who you shmooze while waiting for the bus)
to be the one coming to the rescue?

If my cousin were female, I'd have certainly chosen her. I would absolutely prefer my female neighbor's help to a male neighbor. For that matter, I'd most likely prefer the help of my female neighbor, if she were medically qualified, to a stranger.

123

 Nov 28, 2011 at 12:08 PM FredE Says:

I have an idea: How about people grow up and let anyone join HaTzalah regardless of gender? This whole business of limiting women is misogynistic and you need to get over it. (I wont hold my breath though).

124

 Nov 28, 2011 at 12:26 PM Wonderful deduction Says:

Reply to #119  
an east sider Says:

how many women are ready to run out & leave the kids alone when the men are in shul or run out from a shabbos seuda or a pesach seder let's be rialistic the only ones are proster woman who I am sure noone wants them answering hatzolah calls no matter what the matav is

You must have put a lot of thought into that comment. 1) Any woman who views women's tznius as a priority and is committed to this would run out, pesach seder, men in shul, shabbos seuda, or not. Same as any Frum man who is a committed EMT would do. Obviously, these things would be arranged in advance to be prepared for emergencies. 2) Why do you assume that only "proster" (check your spelling BTW) women would show up? They have kids and shabbos seudos and pesach seders too!? 3) "noone wants them answering hatzolah calls, no matter what the matzav" - brilliant!!! So if a "proster" woman shows up to save your life, you'll say, "No thank you. I'll just hang tight here bleeding out while I wait for a frummer guy with longer payos, or a yeshivishe looking lady to show up."

125

 Nov 28, 2011 at 12:38 PM Mike Says:

I must have missed something. If I need medical help, why would I give a rat's petutie what the gender of the first responder is? Why would you possibly limit trained female EMTs to only childbirth cases? Do you realize that such a limitation *has a price* ?

126

 Nov 28, 2011 at 01:06 PM bigwheeel Says:

Reply to #2  
Anonymous Says:

Long overdue. Male HAtzolah members are not immune from yetzer horah. We need female EMT's.

Male physicians treating women is 100% in accordance with Halacha. Incorporating women paramedics into Hatzalah, on the other hand, has many drawbacks --both spiritual and practical-- that outweigh the possible benefits.

127

 Nov 28, 2011 at 02:10 PM Steve Says:

Reply to #126  
bigwheeel Says:

Male physicians treating women is 100% in accordance with Halacha. Incorporating women paramedics into Hatzalah, on the other hand, has many drawbacks --both spiritual and practical-- that outweigh the possible benefits.

I''ll bite. What "spiritual drawbacks" are those exactly?

128

 Nov 28, 2011 at 02:23 PM Aloofknaz Says:

Reply to #48  
Anonymous Says:

Hatzolah members are NOT Doctors. They do not have a speciality in OB/GYN. I am all for women joining Hatzolah. These men have no respect for women! Did you ever think perhaps a 15 year old girl that needs help wants to be helped by WOMEN. Not by these married men! Did you ever think perhaps a Married WOMAN doesnt want her private areas seen by random men? Does she not have a right? Even in some third world countries it is the WOMEN who take care of WOMEN. For the record you see the regaular EMT goyishe ones that have one man and one woman. They seem to be more efficient. Rachel well done! Please stop comparing Doctors, who WENT to medical school, WENT through the screening process with male Hatzolah members who only had basic cpr first aid courses. Hatzolah is no where near professional as EMT services.

ignorant

129

 Nov 28, 2011 at 02:42 PM ALOOFKNAZ Says:

Reply to #101  
Anonymous Says:

Again to the fools challenging my comments. Hatzolah members ARE not trained doctors. Hatzolah members went to training only for a few weeks... I am highly offended as a female, and as a woman with two female Doctors D-o-c-t-o-r in my family OB/GYN and frum!!! They worked really hard to be educated and help women. Yet we are stuck with these men who really just want a walkie talkie to be something in the neighborhood, not to mention the tax deductions. Women are so much more capable then what some of you ignorant misogynistic male Frummies think. Even in the Torah women were delivered by other women. Stop with the whole Rabbonim having to decide. This isn't an issue. Allow us women to HELP other women. It is unbelievable how insecure these man are because really the truth is they don't want to be shown up, they don't want their position taken away. You'd be surprised how many Frum women would volunteer and adequately drive, carry person, provide safety, and follow through on protocol!

Your comments are very ignorant and shallow. Please stop posting as you will only be embarrassing yourself further.

130

 Nov 28, 2011 at 04:04 PM redhead Says:

As a frum female EMT, I feel confident saying, that any woman who has become an EMT (note that I did not write doula or midwife), does not just want to deliver babies. I feel that this step of becoming OB/GYN-specific EMT's, is a way for them to get one foot in the Hatzolah door, so that eventually they can argue the case that they should be full-time Hatzolah members. As a side note; this article made it onto ems1's website, and is now generating responses from stranger's to the jewish way of life, on ems1's facebook page.

131

 Nov 28, 2011 at 04:09 PM redhead Says:

As a frum female EMT, I feel confident saying, that any woman who has taken the EMT course, (note that i did not write doula or midwife) does not want to just deliver babies. I think that this proposal is a way for them to get their foot in the door, and then eventually argue that woman should become full-time Hatzolah members.

132

 Nov 28, 2011 at 04:10 PM ASimpleJew Says:

I have a practical suggestion to make this work.
Set up a separate organization. Women only with separate 1. dispatchers, 2. OB medical director, 3. command and control. Do not purchase ambulances instead develop an inter-agency agreement with Hatzalah to provide the ambulance and reciprocity service upon request from the new organization. This keeps the overhead costs low and gives the patient the option of choosing whom to call.
In a nutshell this is the way Hatzalah's like Toronto, Los Angeles, Montreal, Miami and Chicago work. Except that instead of the inter-agency agreement being between two Jewish organizations (per the suggestion above) the agreement is between the Jewish organization (Hatzalah) and the government body charged with EMS.

133

 Nov 28, 2011 at 05:07 PM ConcernedMember Says:

It's funny... I've been a Hatzolah member for more than a decade and I've interacted with more patients and families than I can remember. I've never had an issue with any patient. I've never gotten any commentary other than thank you's.

My job as an EMT is to get the patient to the hospital safely. Period. I don't really care who the patient is, what they look like or what gender they are. If the person called our Dispatcher and our Dispatcher sent me to the call, my job is simply to ensure that the person remains in stable condition from the time I arrive until the time I transfer care to the hospital. That's all there is to it.

If someone doesn't like what we do, they're more than welcome to call another organization. We are in New York City and there are quite a few other services available, including the City's 911 service.

Our members do the best we can do. We do our best with patient care and we also do our best with religious sensitivities such as Tznius and Kavod Hameis (G-d forbid). If our best isn't good enough for you, if you think we're a group of clowns giggling at the pregnant lady, I'm sorry you feel that way.

134

 Nov 28, 2011 at 05:12 PM ConcernedMember Says:

Also to #101, it's pretty clear to everyone reading that you have a problem with Hatzolah as a whole. Your biased, untrue, incoherent and hastily typed criticisms of us are clearly not made with any legitimate concern in mind. I'm sure you have your own reasons for attacking us in such a vile fashion. Perhaps you had a bad experience. Perhaps you or a family member wasn't taken on as a member by one neighborhood or another. I have no idea.

But the fact that you are so willing to say such vile things about a group of people that try to help others is very telling about your own character. Your intent is to attack, not to try to correct anything.

I used to run a website that was primarily for Hatzolah members and others to discuss relevant issues and we used to experience a lot of hateful attacks from people. Your posts here are quite similar to what I used to see there.

I guess years later there are still depraved people using the same boring attacks. You are a very angry person and I hope you seek help for your all-consuming hatred. Hatzolah has 2 members with the Prefix MH who I'd be happy to direct you to. Even after what you said about us. Refuah Sh'laimah.

135

 Nov 28, 2011 at 06:28 PM NYPDEMS Says:

Does anyone here remember that Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur recently passed and we asked Hashem for forgiveness regarding speaking bad about each other, mocking one another, and causing Chillul Hashem? This entire post has become one big Chillul Hashem to the point as a 911 paramedic people in all ambulance services are talking about this. Moderator instead of letting this go on why not close this thread and reopen it under a possitive type of thread instead of people making up stories about us Hatzalah members or people who support Hatzalah. Please for all of Kla'al Yisrael stop this hatered amongst our fellow brothers and sisters. We have enough people who make up stories about us that aren't of our own faith. Please everyone here stop the arguing and fighting and slander. This is the time to do T'shuvah not cause hatered. Maybe this Lady trying to get women on Hatzalah would succeed if people wouldn't make this into a battle instead of just supporting something or not agreeing.

137

 Nov 28, 2011 at 07:19 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #134  
ConcernedMember Says:

Also to #101, it's pretty clear to everyone reading that you have a problem with Hatzolah as a whole. Your biased, untrue, incoherent and hastily typed criticisms of us are clearly not made with any legitimate concern in mind. I'm sure you have your own reasons for attacking us in such a vile fashion. Perhaps you had a bad experience. Perhaps you or a family member wasn't taken on as a member by one neighborhood or another. I have no idea.

But the fact that you are so willing to say such vile things about a group of people that try to help others is very telling about your own character. Your intent is to attack, not to try to correct anything.

I used to run a website that was primarily for Hatzolah members and others to discuss relevant issues and we used to experience a lot of hateful attacks from people. Your posts here are quite similar to what I used to see there.

I guess years later there are still depraved people using the same boring attacks. You are a very angry person and I hope you seek help for your all-consuming hatred. Hatzolah has 2 members with the Prefix MH who I'd be happy to direct you to. Even after what you said about us. Refuah Sh'laimah.

Vile? Misogynistic reasons why a frum female is not allowed to participate in this organization seems more vile to me. As for being angry, (funny) I help people, no matter their gender, age, weight, financial circumstance. It is more than I can say about Hatzalah blatantly discriminating women. I already said Hatzolah members if you want to correct the situation, allow qualified women to get involved. Women are natural born caretakers, unlike men we can multi-task. To say a female can not carry another adult size person is really ignorant and typical of uneducated sticker wearing, walkie talkie carrying, power hungry men such as yourself. I would love to believe that Hatzolah wants anyone able to offer a kiddush hashem to be allowed to be part of this organization. Unfortunately it is people like you with a combative mentality who resorts to ad hominems and declares I need refuah sheleimah. P.S. Is is legal for a simple soul as yourself to declare someone needs healin when you're not qualified to make such an assessment? You want some ideas here goes:
A) Allow able Women to get involved
B) If carrying a caller is a practical factor then men should arrive to assist in transporting

139

 Nov 28, 2011 at 08:53 PM same poster as #117 Says:

Reply to #137  
Anonymous Says:

Vile? Misogynistic reasons why a frum female is not allowed to participate in this organization seems more vile to me. As for being angry, (funny) I help people, no matter their gender, age, weight, financial circumstance. It is more than I can say about Hatzalah blatantly discriminating women. I already said Hatzolah members if you want to correct the situation, allow qualified women to get involved. Women are natural born caretakers, unlike men we can multi-task. To say a female can not carry another adult size person is really ignorant and typical of uneducated sticker wearing, walkie talkie carrying, power hungry men such as yourself. I would love to believe that Hatzolah wants anyone able to offer a kiddush hashem to be allowed to be part of this organization. Unfortunately it is people like you with a combative mentality who resorts to ad hominems and declares I need refuah sheleimah. P.S. Is is legal for a simple soul as yourself to declare someone needs healin when you're not qualified to make such an assessment? You want some ideas here goes:
A) Allow able Women to get involved
B) If carrying a caller is a practical factor then men should arrive to assist in transporting

''uneducated sticker wearing,walkie talkie carrying,power hungry men'' I'm guessing you are the same poster as #48 & # 101, I've answered your posts a couple of times as well as some other posters. Apparently you are emotionally disturbed and there's no reasoning with you. I would also like to wish you a refuah shlaima as well because you do have a problem as much as you don't want to believe it. I realize more and more that you don't reallly care about the patients but just need to rant about hatzoloh and men in general. To say a comment ''uneducated sticker wearing,walkie talkie carrying,power hungry men'' just shows what kind of person you really are and truthfully very offensive to a member and his family If you do the math you have insulted thousands of people with your IGNORANT comments. Seek help it's needed!

140

 Nov 28, 2011 at 11:52 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #19  
Says:

I have always been under a clear impression that the fabric of what Hatzolah is about is saving a Jewish life and rendering care so that no life is lost. That said... shouldn't the issue of Tznius fall to the back burner and the safe delivery of a new Jewish life take presidence. Things can and do go wrong during what were expected to be normal deliveries.
If I were in severe life threatening distress I really wouldn't care who came to help...just that they come and come quickly.

But you are saying to make absolutely certain that the responder is a male by barring women EMT's from doing this!

141

 Nov 28, 2011 at 11:56 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #28  
Anonymous Says:

I would beg to differ that Hatzalah members are not trained in emergency childbirth. A relative of mine, a Hatzalah EMT for many years, has delivered nearly 20 babies over time. Perhaps your daughter is a control freak who *tried* to tell her rescuers what to do. That sounds more likely.

Wow, that sounds mean and judgmental! Do you know the person's daughter?

142

 Nov 29, 2011 at 12:11 AM Yocheved Lerner Says:

Reply to #33  
chaim Says:

“It’s quite unfortunate that it’s been the case when seven or eight men have responded to a woman in labor call,” she said. “If birth is imminent, that’s how many people are watching. And it’s a very, very troubling situation for a woman.”

No, Mrs. Lerner if the birth is imminent they're not watching they're helping, but if you have a womens divison they''ll be helping though and it won't be a very,very troubling situation. (I'm being sarcastic btw :) )

She said a core group of about five women had spearheaded the proposal and that it is drawing wider support. She emphasized that in no way did they want to or expect to work alongside the men of Hatzolah, suggesting they could have their own ambulances available to them.

“We don’t want to be socializing with the men of Hatzolah,” she said.


Good idea open up your own branch of women EMT'S and the patient will decide if they should call your org. or hatzoloh.

Hmmm...EIGHT men HELPING?? Do you think that is necessary? As an EMT of 21 years, I can assure you that there is absolutely no place for eight men to help in a childbirth situation, unless the mother is having quadruplets, of course! Please feel free to contact me and I will gladly discuss the testimonials of women, anonymously to preserve privacy, so you may better understand what occurs at many labor calls. Also, there are very valid reasons why it is best to affiliate with Hatzalah rather than start our own ambulance corp. I'll gladly tell you about them since it will actually protect Hatzalah. Women helping women and not bashing Hatzalah is what we're about. If you or anyone else prefers to have a large number of male Hatzalah EMT's at your labor or gynecological call, you are certainly given that choice. We simply want to provide a good option.

143

 Nov 29, 2011 at 12:18 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #111  
Oncologist Says:

There is not a place for "the Rabbonim" in every situation in life. In cases of pikuach nefresh - and that is what Hatzola deals in - there is no such issue as tznua or not tznua, there is only the issue of pikuach nefesh. Of course no lady wants her male neighbor, or her husband's chavrusa seeing her delivering her baby but would she prefer to have no one to call on?

Yes, so let's give the women the option of having a woman EMT!

144

 Nov 28, 2011 at 11:45 PM CatskillCat Says:

Reply to #12  
Anonymous Says:

After Rebitzen Freier will have her way,"EMS" will mean "Emergency Midwife Service"........

Great idea! That is exactly what we need! Then women will indeed have dignity, tznius, trained professionals, and overall comfort. May it happen speedily.

145

 Nov 29, 2011 at 12:28 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #39  
rationalman Says:

maam...as in everything in life you may come across people that are better at certain things than others....but to say that they (the hatzoloh members) are not trained to deliver a baby and to insinuate that your daughter was trained is being disingenuous at best or foolish/ignorant at worst. I am a member of hatzoloh. I have no desire to discuss my personal feelings if i agree or disagree if female membership is a good idea. What I shall take you to task is in your comments. Shall i tell you of the times that i was at a labor call and a family friend who was a physician was present and it was the doctor that really was clueless as to what to do..? The membership gets the same training that every other EMT/Medic in the state gets. would you rather your daughter be handled by a non-jewish ambulance worker..? you have that right - call 911 not hatzoloh. as a matter of fact please post your family name and address so members will know to bypass your house in times of an emergency being that we are incompetent

What a terrible thing to say!!! BYPASS a house in times of EMERGENCY?! May you never need such help! And surely we shouldn't criticize or demean the non-Jewish ambulance worker whe has chosen his or HER profession to help humanity, both Jew and gentile alike. Think about kindness and decency when you write please. We need more of that, just as we need the women emt's who want to help their fellow Jewish women, and men if it should ever be necessary.

146

 Nov 29, 2011 at 12:39 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #51  
shtill Says:

Most of you are missing the point. The rabbanim are concerned that once you have females trained as EMT's they will be utilized even when the call would not be of the nature they were trained for. Say someone collapses in shul.. In walks mrs Freier to the mens section to administer CPR... Of course at that point it would be the right thing because of pickuach nefesh, but why put them into such a position.

We female EMT's are here anyway! You mean that I shouldn't be allowed to enter the men's section of a shul to administer CPR to a male cardiac arrest victim, whether or not I am a member of Hatzalah, FDNY, or any ambulance? I have witnessed male Hatzalah members entering 770's women's section on Yom Kippur to help a sick woman. As the men pushed their way through the large crowd of women, I wondered how much better the scene would've been if women were making their way through all of those women who were squeezed into the women's section. Help would've been prompt, appropriate, and with no compromise in tznius. But you make it sound like men would rather, chas v'shalom, die than have a woman help them!

147

 Nov 29, 2011 at 12:42 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #82  
Anonymous Says:

Your example of how the rabbi realized that his psak was endangering lives is 100% pertinent! If someone can be mechalel shabbos to save a life, then a woman should not be embarrassed if a man is trying to help her.

I am extremely concerned that, in the name of tznius, that women and/or babies will, chas v'shalom, suffer great harm or death. Let's say that all the female teams are out on calls; would the next frum woman who requests help be endangering herself if she requests only women? Worse even, would there be social pressure on her to request only women? Would she and her family be judged unfavorably if people found out that the Hatzoloh team was male? Worst of all----would some askan put pressure on rebbeim to assur men treating women?!

If there is even the smallest chance that a woman could suffer harm or die, then the closest Hatzoloh team MUST be the first responders, no matter what their gender!!!

Yes. And right now the only gender allowed is male. What a shame these fabulous, well, trained, competent women are being told they cannot help ANYONE!

148

 Nov 29, 2011 at 12:48 AM CatskillCat Says:

Reply to #85  
stam a guy Says:

Personnally I think its a good idea. Every neighborhood should have a few female Hatzolo members for just this type of s situation. Doesn't mean they are available or answer to all calls. An OB call or a sensitive matter can be dispacthed to the female responders and if they are not available than the men can respond. I see no problem with this at all.

Amen!

149

 Nov 29, 2011 at 01:05 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #98  
Anonymous Says:

I'm a woman and have chosen all female doctors when possible. B"H I have been gebentched by the Aibershter with many children, one of whom was delivered partly by Hatzolah and partly by hospital personnel, working together in a Hatzolah ambulance. And while I would have definitely preferred the assistance of the female midwife who was waiting for me inside the hospital, the Hatzolah members who were with me, who to my initial chagrin happened to be neighbors and family friends, were so extra-sensitive to my discomfort. Yes, it was difficult to face them for those first few months after the birth, but all that faded, B"H, as the joy of another healthy neshoma spread through our home.

While I understand that not all members are as sensitive as these and that some patients have had negative experiences while being treated by hatzola during an emergency, I think the focus might need to be some ehrllichkeit and mentchlichkeit "training" to ensure that the dignity and femininity of yiddishe women are not CH"V violated - in ANY way - during a hatzolah call rather than training an all-new brigade of female EMTs, despite their equal qualifications.

I am an EMT who has worked on secular ambulances with both male and female responders. When the call was for a woman in labor, it was logical that I took it rather than my male EMT partner. If the call was for a male that had to do with anything "private", my male partner took the call. It was just an unspoken rule. It worked very well. Let's have women EMT's on Hatzolah and let the people decide. No need to compromise response time, training, etc. It certainly can be worked out! Hashem should bless all of the people who favor having excellent emergency care services AND excellent tznius services! They surely can go hand in hand.

150

 Nov 29, 2011 at 02:11 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #139  
same poster as #117 Says:

''uneducated sticker wearing,walkie talkie carrying,power hungry men'' I'm guessing you are the same poster as #48 & # 101, I've answered your posts a couple of times as well as some other posters. Apparently you are emotionally disturbed and there's no reasoning with you. I would also like to wish you a refuah shlaima as well because you do have a problem as much as you don't want to believe it. I realize more and more that you don't reallly care about the patients but just need to rant about hatzoloh and men in general. To say a comment ''uneducated sticker wearing,walkie talkie carrying,power hungry men'' just shows what kind of person you really are and truthfully very offensive to a member and his family If you do the math you have insulted thousands of people with your IGNORANT comments. Seek help it's needed!

Really you're low class. It is highly offensive that you would continue to make fun of people who are mental ill. Two words shema koleinu before you keep attacking people who you think are mentally ill just because they disagree with you! I actually do care about patients, further more I care that each patient is given the right to be comfortable, to be treated with sensitivity, to have their religious beliefs protected. By your judgmental opinion I may have insulted thousands of MEN; you sir have insulted thousands of women! This is not an argument! Real EMT's are respectful of people no matter their age race weight gender religious beliefs financial status location. This has nothing to do with perversion! No one here said Hatzolah men are sick in the head! Perhaps it is your lack of medical education that has caused you analysis issues. I can't believe Women have to beg to be a part of volunteering. show me another group of people who treat women with such disrespect?? Women have a right to privacy, modesty, and religious sensitivity and how dare you become so inconsiderate!!!!

151

 Nov 29, 2011 at 02:14 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #142  
Yocheved Lerner Says:

Hmmm...EIGHT men HELPING?? Do you think that is necessary? As an EMT of 21 years, I can assure you that there is absolutely no place for eight men to help in a childbirth situation, unless the mother is having quadruplets, of course! Please feel free to contact me and I will gladly discuss the testimonials of women, anonymously to preserve privacy, so you may better understand what occurs at many labor calls. Also, there are very valid reasons why it is best to affiliate with Hatzalah rather than start our own ambulance corp. I'll gladly tell you about them since it will actually protect Hatzalah. Women helping women and not bashing Hatzalah is what we're about. If you or anyone else prefers to have a large number of male Hatzalah EMT's at your labor or gynecological call, you are certainly given that choice. We simply want to provide a good option.

Yocheved Lerner, Thank you!!!

152

 Nov 29, 2011 at 02:18 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #139  
same poster as #117 Says:

''uneducated sticker wearing,walkie talkie carrying,power hungry men'' I'm guessing you are the same poster as #48 & # 101, I've answered your posts a couple of times as well as some other posters. Apparently you are emotionally disturbed and there's no reasoning with you. I would also like to wish you a refuah shlaima as well because you do have a problem as much as you don't want to believe it. I realize more and more that you don't reallly care about the patients but just need to rant about hatzoloh and men in general. To say a comment ''uneducated sticker wearing,walkie talkie carrying,power hungry men'' just shows what kind of person you really are and truthfully very offensive to a member and his family If you do the math you have insulted thousands of people with your IGNORANT comments. Seek help it's needed!

Having a problem with men? I think it is you who needs help. There are plenty of wonderful jewish men and jewish women. Not sure how you decided that speaking about a small group of sexist frummies equates with over millions of good men.
Move on. We both said our thoughts. You don't want women in Hatzolah. I think women should be welcomed and it would upgrade the efficiency of Hatzolah. Any organization that isn't will to recognize its need for improvement is quite a disappointment as we are in a society where there is always room for growth and understanding! Shame on you for being so verbally aggressive! I truly hope your family wasn't that one that taught you to degrade with by calling them mentally ill!

153

 Nov 29, 2011 at 08:03 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #140  
Anonymous Says:

But you are saying to make absolutely certain that the responder is a male by barring women EMT's from doing this!

#140, I posted #19 and never said women EMT's should be barred. My point was to say that I really believe that the saving of a Jewish life should take presidence over modesty issues, and maybe even some established ideas. I can see from many of the 140+ posts that this is in conflict with the opinion and feelings of others....and in conflict with religious principals that go beyond my personal opinions.
As I said before if it were I in a life threatening position I would want the help to come quickly ...the sex of the responder wouldn't matter...just their abilities to give professional help.
My current primary care doctor is a woman, so was my former primary care doctor. I'm ok with that situation....it is 100% professional.

154

 Nov 29, 2011 at 02:40 PM same poster as #139 Says:

Reply to #150  
Anonymous Says:

Really you're low class. It is highly offensive that you would continue to make fun of people who are mental ill. Two words shema koleinu before you keep attacking people who you think are mentally ill just because they disagree with you! I actually do care about patients, further more I care that each patient is given the right to be comfortable, to be treated with sensitivity, to have their religious beliefs protected. By your judgmental opinion I may have insulted thousands of MEN; you sir have insulted thousands of women! This is not an argument! Real EMT's are respectful of people no matter their age race weight gender religious beliefs financial status location. This has nothing to do with perversion! No one here said Hatzolah men are sick in the head! Perhaps it is your lack of medical education that has caused you analysis issues. I can't believe Women have to beg to be a part of volunteering. show me another group of people who treat women with such disrespect?? Women have a right to privacy, modesty, and religious sensitivity and how dare you become so inconsiderate!!!!

First off I really have no interest in continuing this conversation with you but I will answer this post. I never ever made fun of people who are mentally ill, all I said was that you need to get help for you comments about hatzoloh members being '''uneducated sticker wearing,walkie talkie carrying,power hungry men'' if you want to change my words fine but don't say I was making fun of the mentally ill. Second: you could have your opinion as a lot of posters did, but right when you start insulting the members who help is when I start ''attacking'' Third: I have no problem with women at all and no where in my post does it say I do, all I said was leave the org. how it is, you want to disagree fine , no problem but don't say I insulted women when I clearly did not. Fourth: your comment ''Real EMT's are respectful of people no matter their age race weight gender religious beliefs financial status location'' is totally correct! I never said anything different, hatzoloh will respond to all calls regardless of age,weight etc.All I am asking is to stop bashing the members thats all!

155

 Nov 29, 2011 at 02:48 PM cont. same poster as 139 Says:

Reply to #150  
Anonymous Says:

Really you're low class. It is highly offensive that you would continue to make fun of people who are mental ill. Two words shema koleinu before you keep attacking people who you think are mentally ill just because they disagree with you! I actually do care about patients, further more I care that each patient is given the right to be comfortable, to be treated with sensitivity, to have their religious beliefs protected. By your judgmental opinion I may have insulted thousands of MEN; you sir have insulted thousands of women! This is not an argument! Real EMT's are respectful of people no matter their age race weight gender religious beliefs financial status location. This has nothing to do with perversion! No one here said Hatzolah men are sick in the head! Perhaps it is your lack of medical education that has caused you analysis issues. I can't believe Women have to beg to be a part of volunteering. show me another group of people who treat women with such disrespect?? Women have a right to privacy, modesty, and religious sensitivity and how dare you become so inconsiderate!!!!

(cont. from above post)Also your last two sentences about orgs. how they treat women, every frum jewish org. is seperate, I can think of one thats mixed. (shomrim,chaverim, tomchei shabbos,Misaskim) so please stop saying how hatzoloh treats women so bad. Finally your last post ''Women have a right to privacy, modesty, and religious sensitivity and how dare you become so inconsiderate!!!'' thats correct and hatzoloh has been doing that for the past 35 years so don't tell me how I'm inconsiderate. if you don't like how hatzoloh operates call 911. Thanks have a great day.

156

 Nov 29, 2011 at 03:02 PM same poster as #139 Says:

Reply to #152  
Anonymous Says:

Having a problem with men? I think it is you who needs help. There are plenty of wonderful jewish men and jewish women. Not sure how you decided that speaking about a small group of sexist frummies equates with over millions of good men.
Move on. We both said our thoughts. You don't want women in Hatzolah. I think women should be welcomed and it would upgrade the efficiency of Hatzolah. Any organization that isn't will to recognize its need for improvement is quite a disappointment as we are in a society where there is always room for growth and understanding! Shame on you for being so verbally aggressive! I truly hope your family wasn't that one that taught you to degrade with by calling them mentally ill!

I don't know if your the same poster as #150 but I'm guessing you are. I'll answer you anyways. In your posts it sounds like you have a problem with men in general you want to disagree okay fine. Just curious who are you calling the sexist frummies? I really really don't want to continue this. If you said your thoughts on how you want women on hatzoloh that would have been fine (like other posters did) but when you start bashing the members thats when i started answering you ''aggressively''. Lastly, no my family didn't teach me to call anybody mentally ill. If you feel like I did I'm truly sorry but I get a little worked up when you have comments about hatzoloh members being ''uneducated sticker wearing,walkie talkie carrying,power hungry men'' when I have plenty of members in my family who give up hours and hours to help people.

157

 Nov 30, 2011 at 05:24 PM hear my cry Says:

Reply to #39  
rationalman Says:

maam...as in everything in life you may come across people that are better at certain things than others....but to say that they (the hatzoloh members) are not trained to deliver a baby and to insinuate that your daughter was trained is being disingenuous at best or foolish/ignorant at worst. I am a member of hatzoloh. I have no desire to discuss my personal feelings if i agree or disagree if female membership is a good idea. What I shall take you to task is in your comments. Shall i tell you of the times that i was at a labor call and a family friend who was a physician was present and it was the doctor that really was clueless as to what to do..? The membership gets the same training that every other EMT/Medic in the state gets. would you rather your daughter be handled by a non-jewish ambulance worker..? you have that right - call 911 not hatzoloh. as a matter of fact please post your family name and address so members will know to bypass your house in times of an emergency being that we are incompetent

Who said you were incompetent? Nobody insinuated anything near that. All they want is to be able to be there at a time when a woman is about to deliver and feels uncomfortable with men around her in such a vulnerable position. Why is that so hard for you to understand? I, for one, who am a grandmother by now, would be uncomfortable to be in that position if my father, uncle, brother, in law, cousin, neighbor...were to arrive and have to deliver me.
Why can't a group of woman be trained in this area to assist their fellow sisters when it could make it that much more comfortable? I fail to understand you.
Nobody said they should be riding the ambulances with you or engage you in competition for your jobs. Why are you all so threatened? Would you not feel better to have a male nurse assisting you in a hospital,(if you are frum, of course)as would a woman to a woman...well, the same applies here.
You have never experienced childbirth..never will. You are fighting POLITICALLY not religiously...certainly not emotionally.YOU DON'T HAVE THE WOMAN'S INTEREST AT HEART.Send out brochures to all frum homes and ask them what their opinions are. Let's do it.

158

 Nov 30, 2011 at 05:32 PM hear my cry Says:

Reply to #39  
rationalman Says:

maam...as in everything in life you may come across people that are better at certain things than others....but to say that they (the hatzoloh members) are not trained to deliver a baby and to insinuate that your daughter was trained is being disingenuous at best or foolish/ignorant at worst. I am a member of hatzoloh. I have no desire to discuss my personal feelings if i agree or disagree if female membership is a good idea. What I shall take you to task is in your comments. Shall i tell you of the times that i was at a labor call and a family friend who was a physician was present and it was the doctor that really was clueless as to what to do..? The membership gets the same training that every other EMT/Medic in the state gets. would you rather your daughter be handled by a non-jewish ambulance worker..? you have that right - call 911 not hatzoloh. as a matter of fact please post your family name and address so members will know to bypass your house in times of an emergency being that we are incompetent

And to add to what you said...why bring in the point of whether one should call a regular ambulance verses Hatzolah. Every jew (and some non) know with what accuracy and speed they distinguish themselves with! That is not what we are talking about. And the fact that a member would be better trained in that vs. a doctor, also makes sense. Most doctors practice a specialty and just because they took a course in childbirth(if they have to to become a dr.) doesn't mean that they are capable. It's like saying that if I learned Chumish once,was told the teitch...I will remember it for the rest of my life if I never practice it again. You are getting away from the subject at hand. To train frum woman to ASSIST IN CHILDBIRTH...
By the way...Mrs. Francosz in Williamsburg is trained in this area.Have you never used her before? And if you did...was she incapable??If asked...most woman would prefer she deliver them than a man....let's hear it woman!!!
P.S. They are not challenging your qualifications. They are asking to assist by your side....

159

 Nov 30, 2011 at 05:40 PM anonymous Says:

Reply to #51  
shtill Says:

Most of you are missing the point. The rabbanim are concerned that once you have females trained as EMT's they will be utilized even when the call would not be of the nature they were trained for. Say someone collapses in shul.. In walks mrs Freier to the mens section to administer CPR... Of course at that point it would be the right thing because of pickuach nefesh, but why put them into such a position.

I don't think they are asking to do that. I think they are asking to be there for woman in childbirth...correct me Ruchie...if I'm wrong.
If they want to compete with the men and join them in overall stuff....then no...they should have their own Hatzaloh, driven by and staffed by woman. People could them make choices of their own whom to call.

160

 Nov 30, 2011 at 05:36 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #48  
Anonymous Says:

Hatzolah members are NOT Doctors. They do not have a speciality in OB/GYN. I am all for women joining Hatzolah. These men have no respect for women! Did you ever think perhaps a 15 year old girl that needs help wants to be helped by WOMEN. Not by these married men! Did you ever think perhaps a Married WOMAN doesnt want her private areas seen by random men? Does she not have a right? Even in some third world countries it is the WOMEN who take care of WOMEN. For the record you see the regaular EMT goyishe ones that have one man and one woman. They seem to be more efficient. Rachel well done! Please stop comparing Doctors, who WENT to medical school, WENT through the screening process with male Hatzolah members who only had basic cpr first aid courses. Hatzolah is no where near professional as EMT services.

I am with you with the exception that you said they are not as trained as EMT.Those in Hatzolah that are trained EMT...I assume are trained EMT...to say otherwise would be wrong.

161

 Nov 30, 2011 at 05:46 PM anonymous Says:

Reply to #60  
Sherree Says:

Maybe the issue that should be addressed is NOT to take labor and delivery so lightly, and don't wait till the last minute to go to the hospital. Make plans for your delivery, have a game plan, have a bag packed, know who you are calling to watch your other kids, have your phone numbers handy, know how you are getting to the hospital, know who is taking you if your husband isn't home, don't wait for him to get home if your contractions are too close and too strong. Ask your doctors all the questions you need to ask. Don't go into labor by surprise, be prepared for labor, understand what it is and what to expect.

Having said all that....there are woman out there that are "lucky" enough to have babies rush into this world!!! No time for calls, husbands or anything...It happens...with all the plans outlined...it still happens. Usually if you have a baby coming that fast....the births are uncomplicated...I think statistically.

162

 Nov 30, 2011 at 05:53 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #68  
5towns Says:

As a woman who has delivered children I will tell you that all of my doctors are women. Even my dentist. I am totally uncomfortable with a male doctor, especially an OBGYN. In my opinion the women that prefer men are the shotahs, there are plenty of very very good female, even frum female, OBGYNs. Unless she needs very specific specialized care, she will have no problem finding a very qualified female to deliver her.
This is a very important need in the community, to save the boosha that the woman in labor feels (yes she does and no man can say she doesn't)

Not very nice of you to express your feelings in the way you do. You are not a shotah for choosing a male Dr. If you are comfortable with one, then so be it...please be careful in the way you address yiddishe mamas.

163

 Nov 30, 2011 at 09:06 PM SEICHEL Says:

Reply to #83  
EMTPRO Says:

As a Frum Female EMT, I have to say that many people have misguided ideas about the work of EMT'S. Firstly in most of the world half of the EMT'S are female. Females are just as capable as men. Second: I think that it should be woman responding to other calls for females not just OB/GYN calls. When a patient is in cardiac arrest the chest needs to be exposed. No female wants a male to expose her chest no matter what her condition is. Of course if there are no female members available a male member should respond. I do agree that female and male members should not mingle, but there is a huge need for female EMT'S. PEOPLE SHOULD NOT BE SO QUICK TO WRITE OFF THIS IDEA. A group of females should be formed to respond to these calls.

Just to answer your comment regarding a woman in cardiac arrest. I am all for female responders regarding obgyn...but trust me when "anyone" is in cardiac arrest....they DO NOT CARE....THEY JUST WANT TO LIVE...THEY DONT WANT TO DIE!!!!!

164

 Nov 30, 2011 at 09:14 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #86  
mewhoze Says:

The doctor or nurse could be a neighbor too. The EMS person could be a neighbor. The mikvah lady is a neighbor. Emergency situations cancel out shabbos, yom tov, and any other high holiday so what's the difference here. NOTHING!!!
People are forgetting this is an emergency service not a convenience service. Hatzolah members do what they do because they are quick and responsible and not cause they say well let me call some woman to deal with this pregnant lady who might be shy. Is she shy when the doctor who may be a male comes in? Would she be shy if she got into a car accident and went to a trauma center and only males are working and have to cut her clothing off? Even if her OB doc is female is there a guarantee she will be there when the woman is ready to give birth? What if she goes into labor upstate instead of in bklyn?

Hello there
Woman have a "choice" to pick a doctor...and they most likely will not pick their next door neighbor if they could help it. Nurses, are usually woman, so that's not a problem with other woman. Mikvah...done in a tznuisdig way...no choice...
The idea is...that if there is a choice for a woman in EMERGENCY DELIVERY to have ANOTHER WOMAN DELIVER HER....then what in the world is the problem??? IF A MALE COMES BEFORE HER, LET HIM DELIVER HER..IF NO ONE ELSE IS THERE, OR IF THE FEMALE EMT WAS LATE...But if there is a choice and time to deliver, why not let a female do it...Could someone please enlighten me about this...because we are going nowhere fast with this!!!!!
Hatzolah members: if anyone of you are reading this could you please respond as to why you would mind if a female came and made if more comfortable for a woman to deliver her baby? What is the threat to you.
Please respond.
Thank you.

165

 Nov 30, 2011 at 09:19 PM anonymous Says:

Reply to #88  
Anonymous Says:

As a woman, I would like you to know that if I were, chas v'shalom, in great danger and in need of cardiac compressions, I do NOT care if the person doing this is male.

In my original post (#82), I warned of the "slippery slope"---and your comment just confirmed my point. First, it's concerns about pregnant women and tznius. Then, it's concerns about female cardiac patients and tznius. Soon, it will be concerns about any woman for any reason and tznius. If only men can treat other men and only women can treat other women, then people, chas v'shalom, might die because they waited for their gender-specific Hatzoloh team.

You are all going away from the point.
If a woman calls in that she cannot make it to the hospital and is in need of someone to help her deliver a "soon in coming" baby...and if a female emt is available....why would the men in hatzolah object to that? why?Please someone enlighten me. Don't tell me about the other stuff. Just answer this question. Don't talk to me about cardiac arrests, etc. etc. Let's stay focused....DELIVERING BABIES....
IS ANYONE OUT THERE FROM HATZOLAH OBJECTING TO WOMAN HELPING WOMAN DELIVER A BABY? AND WHY?

166

 Nov 30, 2011 at 09:25 PM anonymous Says:

Reply to #91  
SaraBasSara Says:

A huge thanks to and a question for Chevra Hatzolah

This past friday, Rebbetzin W as brought in for a chest xray to my place of employment via ambulance by three outstanding Hatzolah members. They were accompanied by a younger Rebbetzin W, the patient's daughter in law. Our receptionist called me to the front desk to ask me if we would be able to do the chest xray for the patient without moving her from the chair she was in.

Reb W the younger recognized me and explained the situation and one of the Hatzolah members asked me if the xray could be done as soon as possible because they did not want to tie up the ambulance any longer than necessary. I told them both that we would get her in and out as soon as possible, but that we needed to have a minimum of paperwork done so that we would have a name to go along with the xray. "I am sure you can appreciate protocol," I said to the senior EMT. "Of course, and we'll help you all we can," he replied. "And we'll take all the help we can get.. It is all about teamwork, after all," I said, leaving them to their forms.

Forms underway, we headed back to the xray room, with EMTs pushing the chair. In the xray room, they asked if I wanted them to move her onto the table, and I said, no, we'll just do it in the chair. When I handed them a hospital gown and told them that she needed to remove her clothing from the waist up, they all looked at each other and then one asked me if there was a nurse who could do it, while another suggested the daughter in law. All three men stepped out to the hallway while the daughter in law and I got her changed, positioned the film, and did the xray. The daughter in law asked if one of the Hatzolah members could wear the lead gown and stay with her for the xray, but I told her that they would have to consent to being exposed to (the small amount of) radiation involved, and that they really aren't required to do so as part of their service. She understood, and apron-clad, helped me herself.

As soon as the films were checked, I helped the daughter in law dress the patient and get her rebundled in the blankets and seatbelts before calling the EMTs back in. I thanked them all for their help, and they were off, in and out, literally in less than 20 minutes, with absolutely zero friction or issue.

To recap, in less than 20 minutes, qualified trained professionals of two sexes interacted in a tznius and appropriate way to provide the best possible service to a patient, with no non-essential interaction (I did not even get the basics of their names) , and maximum positive, cooperative necessary interaction.

So, a huge thanks to those outstanding Hatzolah members!

And now for my question: If that worked so smoothly, why would it automatically NOT work smoothly had the patient been having a baby? You were all three obviously relieved to have someone female there to change the patient's clothing, and quite content to wait in the hallway while the patient was cared for by a trained female professional. You were right there within hearing distance, and could have responded with alacrity had I callled for additional help, which I would not have hesitated to do had I needed it.

(Obviously, you would not have delayed care to await an xray tech of any certain sex, nor would any reasonable person expect you to.)

So, why, if she is qualified, available and on the scene, can a female EMT __not__ deliver babies while you stand as backup in the hallway? For the life of me, I cannot understand.

Made my point...well said

167

 Nov 30, 2011 at 09:33 PM anonymous Says:

Reply to #94  
NYPDEMS Says:

We have to stop saying that there are people out there looking to find some sexual enjoyment from going on a Hatzalah call when there is someone in need of medical attention for a life or dealth situation. In a call that there is a woman giving birth a few members are dispatched because you don't have one patient anymore. YOU HAVE TWO PATIENTS. These two patients can either be healthy with Hashems help or there can be a turn when you have two critical patients. Speaking for myself here, there is no enjoyment in seeing a woman give birth except for the fact that a life is being born after all the killing and hatered that is going on in the world. We must stop assuming that there is need to pervert peoples outlook on Hatzalah members. In the 911 world and you are giving birth it is a 1 in a 100 you will get a female EMT or Paramedic. If you are so set on having a female deliver your baby either,
1) Go to the hospital before your due date or make sure you are there before you go into labor
2) Make sure you do not want to go from Far Rockaway to Manhattan and think the 45 minute trip will be ok without medical attention especially if it is not your first child.

I am really sorry to respond to you in a way that may make you angry. Who in the world was thinking about anything sexual? We are talking about woman being uncomfortable, for crying out loud, having a male stare down on her privates...It is an issue of tznius....if there could be a female emt doing it, why not???
Nobody is accusing anyone here of anything.
Trust me, being in a childbirthing condition, is the last place conducive to any hanky panky...on the contrary.
So all we are saying is...IF A FEMALE IS AVAILABLE TO HELP IN CHILDBIRTH...A TRAINED EMT...WHY WOULD HATZALA MIND TO MAKE THE WOMAN MORE COMFORTABLE IF THIS IS WHAT SHE PREFERED.?..END OF STORY!!!!

168

 Nov 30, 2011 at 09:38 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #98  
Anonymous Says:

I'm a woman and have chosen all female doctors when possible. B"H I have been gebentched by the Aibershter with many children, one of whom was delivered partly by Hatzolah and partly by hospital personnel, working together in a Hatzolah ambulance. And while I would have definitely preferred the assistance of the female midwife who was waiting for me inside the hospital, the Hatzolah members who were with me, who to my initial chagrin happened to be neighbors and family friends, were so extra-sensitive to my discomfort. Yes, it was difficult to face them for those first few months after the birth, but all that faded, B"H, as the joy of another healthy neshoma spread through our home.

While I understand that not all members are as sensitive as these and that some patients have had negative experiences while being treated by hatzola during an emergency, I think the focus might need to be some ehrllichkeit and mentchlichkeit "training" to ensure that the dignity and femininity of yiddishe women are not CH"V violated - in ANY way - during a hatzolah call rather than training an all-new brigade of female EMTs, despite their equal qualifications.

So you just proved the point. That you would have been more comfortable had a woman been there to help you..plain and simple.

169

 Nov 30, 2011 at 09:46 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #111  
Oncologist Says:

There is not a place for "the Rabbonim" in every situation in life. In cases of pikuach nefresh - and that is what Hatzola deals in - there is no such issue as tznua or not tznua, there is only the issue of pikuach nefesh. Of course no lady wants her male neighbor, or her husband's chavrusa seeing her delivering her baby but would she prefer to have no one to call on?

So how does that preclude woman from wanting to help out as trained emt delivering babies? I don't understand your comment?

170

 Nov 30, 2011 at 10:01 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #130  
redhead Says:

As a frum female EMT, I feel confident saying, that any woman who has become an EMT (note that I did not write doula or midwife), does not just want to deliver babies. I feel that this step of becoming OB/GYN-specific EMT's, is a way for them to get one foot in the Hatzolah door, so that eventually they can argue the case that they should be full-time Hatzolah members. As a side note; this article made it onto ems1's website, and is now generating responses from stranger's to the jewish way of life, on ems1's facebook page.

It doesn't matter on what website it is...we don't need strangers opinions or care how they feel about an issue that concerns our religious community. Strangers, obviously, cannot comprehend what it involves and for them to comment without understanding all the implications, doesn't really matter. Why do we always have to look over our shoulders about what this one or that one is saying. We are jews...we live by different rules....and we must take a lot of things into consideration when change is in question.

171

 Nov 30, 2011 at 10:05 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #133  
ConcernedMember Says:

It's funny... I've been a Hatzolah member for more than a decade and I've interacted with more patients and families than I can remember. I've never had an issue with any patient. I've never gotten any commentary other than thank you's.

My job as an EMT is to get the patient to the hospital safely. Period. I don't really care who the patient is, what they look like or what gender they are. If the person called our Dispatcher and our Dispatcher sent me to the call, my job is simply to ensure that the person remains in stable condition from the time I arrive until the time I transfer care to the hospital. That's all there is to it.

If someone doesn't like what we do, they're more than welcome to call another organization. We are in New York City and there are quite a few other services available, including the City's 911 service.

Our members do the best we can do. We do our best with patient care and we also do our best with religious sensitivities such as Tznius and Kavod Hameis (G-d forbid). If our best isn't good enough for you, if you think we're a group of clowns giggling at the pregnant lady, I'm sorry you feel that way.

Thank you so much for your service.
All of us at some time in our lives have utilized the services of Hatzolah, I am sure. Thanking you would be an understatement...we all know that. However, please explain to me why you would mind if a trained female was there to help out ....when a woman is giving birth....if the woman felt more comfortable. They are not challenging you. They just want to be there for other woman in their time of need.

172

 Nov 30, 2011 at 10:14 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #135  
NYPDEMS Says:

Does anyone here remember that Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur recently passed and we asked Hashem for forgiveness regarding speaking bad about each other, mocking one another, and causing Chillul Hashem? This entire post has become one big Chillul Hashem to the point as a 911 paramedic people in all ambulance services are talking about this. Moderator instead of letting this go on why not close this thread and reopen it under a possitive type of thread instead of people making up stories about us Hatzalah members or people who support Hatzalah. Please for all of Kla'al Yisrael stop this hatered amongst our fellow brothers and sisters. We have enough people who make up stories about us that aren't of our own faith. Please everyone here stop the arguing and fighting and slander. This is the time to do T'shuvah not cause hatered. Maybe this Lady trying to get women on Hatzalah would succeed if people wouldn't make this into a battle instead of just supporting something or not agreeing.

I don't think there is a person out there that can say one bad word about Hatzalah...Everyone out there knows you are the most wonderful selfless people...
If some crackpot out there has some issues...nothing you can do about it. As a whole, the whole world knows, including 9ll or other EMT that what you do is extraordinary. That you volunteered your services on Sept ll, and put your life on the line without thought....unbelievable. That you do all this on a volunteer basis...you could have easily stayed away and protected yourself, but no...you went out there and Hashem protected you all b'h...because of your dedication to save lives...all of it Lishma. We are all proud of you and need your services. We are grateful that you are there for us and feel safe knowing that we have someone out there with caring hearts who respond to our needs so selflessly.
Don't worry about those few angry people out there.
I am a female grandmother...there are no words to thank you for your courage and dedication.
May we never need you...but we do.

173

 Dec 01, 2011 at 09:00 PM ES-Member Says:

I have been a Hatzoloh member for a nice amount of years. I do recall female members such as Y-36 and SI-50 and more. I think it worked out well as long as it lasted. If it makes these ladies happy to think about joining our great organization, let it be. It can't do any harm.
I know that our coordinators told us not to discuss it with the public but I think it is a great idea and I am for it 100%.
Have a good evening to all. Let's see what happens.

174

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