I’m putting this here and on my personal blog because it’s something I feel strongly about as a medic, a woman, and a Jew who lived in the Orthodox setting for a long time.

For those not aware, Hatzolah is a volunteer organization that responds to medical problems in the Orthodox communities in NY. They’ve been around for 50+ years and do an admirable job of balancing religious rules with the need to act in an emergency situation. 

A group of Orthodox women want to start their own verision of Hatzolah that would be all female and would respond to OB and gynecological emergencies only. There has been a large amount of backlash against their efforts by many in their community. 

This bothers me greatly as a woman who works as not only a paramedic but as a fire fighter. I have never had to let my male counterparts take the lead because I just couldn’t handle it. As a Jew who came from the same setting these women are in it bothers me that anyone would block this. Modesty is paramount to these women. Many will never lay a hand on a man who isn’t a member of their family and they certainly don’t want multiple male strangers, despite being medical workers, watching them give birth.

I think the above quote is the crux of argument against what these women want to do.

This is not only arrogant and insulting to the women who want to assist in a way that is in line with their religious rules but to every woman who works in emergency medicine. 

Mr. Jacobs, that line of thinking is far outdated. Look around you. Women work in every emergency field now and you don’t see it delaying their response time.

-FY12L

Message from Hatzolah of NYC:

Please be advised that NYC Hatzolah’s Emergency Phone numbers (718/212 387-1750 and 718/212 230-1000) have been operating and will continue to operate throughout the storm.

Hatzolah of Rockland (Monsey) has published a backup phone number (866-425-1600) WHICH IS FOR THEIR RESPONSE AREA ONLY. This number has accidentally been disseminated by individuals to people in other response areas. Please notify your friends and family that the phone numbers remains unchanged and are 718/212 387-1750 or 718/212 230-1000.


(People In Boro Park Covering Their Windows To Protect It From Hurricane Sandy)

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Hatzolah in action during 9/11. 

08.01: "Please tell my wife I said shema."

On 9/11 an Hatzolah ambulance was the very first to arrive at the scene and provide help. `50 Hatzolah volunteers responded. Two ambulances were completely destroyed and ten were severely damaged.

75 volunteers were treated, 6 were injured. Close to 1 Million Dollar damage was incurred. Hatzolah evacuated thousands and treated hundreds of people. Transporting them to 125 different area hospitals.

B’Chasdei Hashem there were no fatalities. 

About Hatzolah EMS:
Hatzolah’s mission is to save lives, and to prevent, reduce, and treat injuries and illness. Hatzalah, a non-profit corporation, is the largest all-volunteer Ambulance Service in the United States, providing premium quality pre-hospital emergency medical treatment and transportation at no cost to all who need it, regardless of race, religion or ethnicity. Chevra Hatzalah, which was founded in NYC in 1965, has become a model for similar Hatzalah rescue and ambulance services throughout the world.

Chevra Hatzalah is world-renowned for providing the public with the following exemplary services:

● Chevra Hatzalah responds to over 75,000 medical emergencies. The organization’s "legendary" response time averages between 2 to 4 minutes, precious time that saves lives. Chevra Hatzalah has over 60 ambulances in operation throughout the Greater NY Metropolitan Area and various counties in Upstate NY.

● A civilian army, all volunteers, of over one thousand emergency medical technicians, paramedics, physician assistants and MDs are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, throughout the Greater NY Metropolitan Area and areas of Upstate NY. All volunteer emergency care providers are also trained in search and rescue.

● Chevra Hatzalah dispatchers are specially trained volunteers who use Hatzalah’s own unique state-of-the-art Computer Aided Dispatch System to determine the exact location of the patient. Chevra Hatzalah Volunteers can instantly communicate with the Hatzalah dispatch center using high quality Motorola radios.

● Chevra Hatzalah volunteers put their life on pause to respond to emergency calls, often leaving their jobs, homes, Shabbos meals, Pesach Seders, children’s graduation ceremonies and warm beds to save lives.

Hatzalah also provides many other important services such as searches for missing people, and have plans to provide community safety and first aid training programs.

Read more.

Only if you are a Jew

This is actually a sweet gesture by Renee to her friends, but I have questions below about the service she’s donating to. 

The email:

image

Then, here’s what you see when you click through to the e-card:

image

I have never heard of Hatzolah before today.  Wiki describes it as an emergency medical volunteer service that mainly services Jewish communities around the world.  On this specific Hatzolah Medical Rescue website, they describe their work like this:

"Hatzolah’s Johannesburg team was first launched in 1998 to assist existing medical emergency services in the area, which are under enormous strain. The organisation is staffed by a group of Torah-observant, Jewish volunteers and is a free service to all Jewish people within our operating areas."

I guess the question is: What happens if you’re not Jewish and they help you?  How do they even know?

"I’ve been shot!"

**Sir, keep calm.  Help is here.  But first, are you Jewish?**

"What does that matter?!"

**If you’re Jewish, I can help you live and my work here is free.**

"And if I’m not Jewish?"

**Ah, I make you a nice deal.**

"Of course, I’m Jewish…"

**You don’t sound too sure of that, sir.  Let me ask you.  What was your Haftarah reading?”

"I don’t know…  Joseph Heller’s Catch-22.”

**Let’s try again.**

"I’m bleeding here!  Help me!"

**Will it kill you to answer one more question?**

"YES!"

"Don’t overreact, sir. Tell me, what does your Bubbie do?**

"Makes pickles..?"

**Oy vey.  Close enough.**

If you’re unlucky enough to need emergency medical service in Johannesburg, these yarmulke-slinging, Torah-subscribing beard-ish boys will be what you can expect to come to your aid.

image

Unless you get sick on Shabbos, in which case, you’re shit out of luck. 

NYC | BROOKLYN |**MC INV MVA**| AVENUE T & OCEAN PKWY | M/C STRUCK MVA. HATZOLAH EMS O/S REQ ALS AMB W/ RUSH. @NYBMALERTS

| UEA08 |

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Lipa Schmeltzer and Shloime Taussig with Yedidim Choir Singing The Hatzolah Song.

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Boro Park Hatzolah Tryout (2013)

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Beutiful performance of Motty Illowitz at last Motzei Shabbos’ Melave Malkve Hatzolah dinner.

Motty Illowitz and Yedidim Choir Performing “When a hatzolah Member Cries” At the Bp Hatzolah Auction in Ateres golda In bp On May 24 2014 Written and Sung By The Incredible Motty Illowitz Conducted and Arranger By the Talented Tzvi Blumnfeld Of Blue Rythem Studio’s and Production 

For the past five years, the Yedidim Choir has been enthralling music lovers all across the United States and Canada, with a distinctive sound all their own. They have sung with the biggest names in the Jewish music business, including Mordechai Ben David, Avraham Fried, Lipa Schmeltzer, Shloime Gertner, Yitzchak Meir Helfgot, Yanky Lemmer, Shloime Taussig, Yisroel Werdyger, Yumi Lowy, Isaac Honig and Yoely Greenfeld and continue to garner rave reviews with each and every performance.

Yedidim, under the leadership of Yanky Orlansky, provides more than just musical accompaniment but rather custom crafted arrangements and harmonies, giving each and every note a unique and exceptional sound. With arrangements by the very talented Avrumi Berko, Tzvi Blumnfeld and Dudi Kalish, each of the carefully chosen voices plays a part in producing an uplifting musical experience that is nothing short of magical.

For more info visit http://yedidimchoir.com/

NYC | BROOKLYN |**MC INV MVA**| AVENUE T & OCEAN PKWY | M/C STRUCK MVA. HATZOLAH EMS O/S REQ ALS AMB W/ RUSH. @NYBMALERTS

M.TWITTER.COM/NYBMALERTS | UEA08 |

NYC | QUEENS |**DROWNING**| 67-28 UTOPIA PKWY | FDNY & HATZOLAH EMS O/S OF A DROWNING. PT REMOVED FROM A POOL, DOA O/S. @NYCITYALERTS | UEA08 |

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