Jewish Female EMTs Plan to Join All-Male Ambulance Corps

Dozens of Orthodox female medical technicians say it's their dream to work for Hatzalah.


 
 

REUVEN FENTON, The New York Post | | Tuesday, September 27, 2011


A group of women in Brooklyn is trying to break through a decades-old barrier bv joining an all-male volunteer ambulance corps run by Orthodox Jews.

Lawyer Ruchie Freier told The Post she's speaking for dozens of Orthodox female medical technicians who say it's their dream to work for Hatzalah.

But others in the tight-knit, ultra-conservative communities in Brooklyn are outraged, describing the plan's supporters as "radical feminists" who don't care about traditional values like "modesty."

Freier said, "Hatzalah is doing a fantastic job, but times have changed. We have female EMTs who have the same training as men. In emergency situations, a woman would be much more comfortable if she was being treated by another woman."

Freier says she's won the endorsement of several prominent rabbis in Brooklyn and in the upstate Hasidic town of New Square, which implemented a similar program a few years ago.

Under the plan, female medics would not be first responders - and would be brought in only when a patient is about to give birth or needs treatment for a gynecological problem.

Hatzalah is a nonprofit, financed by donations. No women or non-Jewish man has ever applied, the source said.

Freier is supported by state Assemblyman Dov Hikind, an influential politician who represents Borough Park.

" - an idea that's worth looking at," he said.

"I think the leaders of the community who are involved with Hatzalah need to be involved, and that's a process that can happen. I'm sure Hatzalah will listen and consider it."

But Hatzalah CEO Rabbi David Cohen said it's a non-issue.

"This was discussed years ago by the rabbinic board. They said not to do it, and that's pretty much where we stand," he said.

"It's not on the agenda. There's no reason to put it on the agenda."

While many in the Orthodox community support the cause, others balk.

On the Orthodox blog "The Yeshiva World," an anonymous Hatzalah member called the plan "a new radical-feminist agenda," adding, "[The rabbinic ruling] on this issue is unequivocal: For reasons of [modesty] women may not join Hatzalah."

But female EMTs who want to join Hatzalah argue if mingling the sexes is what's holding women back, how is it men are the ones treating expectant mothers?

"I personally have seen the difference a woman makes when she is at the side of a woman giving birth," a Hasidic female EMT who lives in Borough Park said.



Copyright © 2013 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: News, new york city, Brooklyn, legal issues

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS





 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Simulation-Based Assessment Facilitates Learning & Enhances Clinical Judgment

Simulation is an educational tool that can be used to develop and refine clinical skills of the student in a controlled environment before they progress to becoming practicing clinicians.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

REMSA Programs Helps Reduce Hospital Visits

Community paramedic effort goes into service.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

City Official Challenges San Francisco Fire Chief

Ambulance response times among problems noted by city supervisor.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Texas Ambulance Crash

Victoria ambulance collides with civilian vehicle.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Colorado Medics Ditch Pants for Kilts

“Real men do wear kilts.”
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

CO Leak at Illinois School

Girard incident sends over 130 to hospitals.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Hands On September 2014

Who gets thumbs up this month?
More >


Multimedia Thumb

NYC Sept. 11 Anniversary

View images from the ceremony at Ground Zero.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >