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After what seemed like a long wait, Brooklyn’s ‘Purple Squad’ was elated to welcome its first, state-of-the-art emergency service ambulance on Sunday. Winning the vote in the State EMS Council (SEMSCO) by a landslide last week, the Ezras Nashim won the authority to operate its very own EMT’s equipped with sirens and lights, under NYS Public Health Law Article 30.
Befittingly adorned with purple stripes, an Ezras Nashim logo in both English and Hebrew, and two letters of rabbinical approval painted onto the rear windows, the ambulance is a 2020 Ford Transit that will commence its work in striving to provide emergency care to women in the Orthodox Jewish community across Brooklyn.

Emerging victorious after an October 2019 denial by the New York City Regional Emergency Medical Council, the all-female Ezras Nashim emergency medical corps was approved by the Council to operate its own ambulance in August.
Standing by their motto of ‘Dignified emergency care for women, provided by women’, the group is oriented towards allowing women to focus on their health, rather than the loss of their dignity, during a medical emergency.
Approved by Rabbi Refoel Blum, the Kasho Rav, and Rabbi Yosef Grunwald, the Pupa Rebbe 40 years ago, the women’s group was endorsed with the purpose of providing medical care until those in childbirth could arrive at a hospital.

Apart from this mission, the Ezras Nashim’s primary purpose is to train women as Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) who can then assist women in emergency situations, and preserve their dignity. Ezras Nashim is also obligated by law to serve anyone who calls for their service regardless of gender and race, which is why the ambulance is a major step in the right direction.
Showcasing their new, sleek, and easily-maneuverable ambulance on its arrival, Ezras Nashim founder Judge Ruchie Freier said in a interview, “We have always had doubters snickering and saying ‘I want to see ladies driving an ambulance,’ but six of us have already trained on it, women in their twenties to their seventies.”

As of now, the group has around forty to fifty women EMTs offering their healthcare assistance across Borough Park, Flatbush, and its Manhattan branch based in Stern College, with another class of 20 women currently training to join the corps.

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Rhea Sovani

Author Rhea Sovani

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