Religion Magazine

Modiin Ilit to Create Female Hatzalah Force

By Gldmeier @gldmeier
In most places around Israel, with some exception, Hatzalah refuses to accept women as EMTs. They follow direction in this regard and have been told not to due to problems with tzniyus - men and women riding the ambulances together, bonding through the treatment of wounded and dealing with serious situation, women treating men, and the like.
At times using only male EMTs can also be seen as being a problem, such as with dealing with women in labor. While it clearly is not a halachic problem, many women feel uncomfortable with their neighbors or other men they might know from the area delivering their baby or taking care of them and treating them in these situations. I know that in some places at least they try to send men from other parts of the neighborhood for such situations, to minimize the likelihood of them knowing each other. It will never be perfect, but they try to do their best about that and minimize any possible potentially uncomfortable situations.
Modiin Ilit to create female Hatzalah force There have been some initiatives, mostly abroad, to create all-women teams of EMT volunteers to be able to deal with female patients. I have no idea how successful those initiatives have been and how active those teams of women are. The Facebook page of Ezras Nashim has not been updated in over a year and a half. That might not mean anything, or maybe it does.
It looks like Hatzalah finally might be giving in.
In Modiin Ilit there is an initiative to form an all-female team to be available to help women in labor and with other needs so the local modest avreichim volunteers do not need to be the ones dealing with these situations out of lack of options.
They have rustled up the support of Rabbanit Kolodetzky, the daughter of Rav Chaim Kanievsky, and she has asked her father about it and says that he supports the idea as well and gave his bracha.
source: Kikar
Good luck to them. It is an important initiative and if they can pull it off, it can lead to good things. It is interesting that Modiin Ilit might be the first town with a Haredi population to break this taboo..
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