Early Monday morning, the very dedicated father, grandfather, and United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Daniel Katzenstein received a phone call from his daughter wishing him mazal tov and telling him that he just became a grandfather once again. In spite of the hour, 2:30 a.m. Daniel didn’t wait for the morning and began to head out to the hospital to visit his daughter and see his new grandson.
On his way to the hospital, at 3:19 a.m. Daniel received an emergency alert on his communication device regarding another woman who was in active labor on Pardes Street, right near his location. Without hesitating, Daniel changed directions and drove to the address in order to help the expectant mother deliver her baby.
When he arrived he was joined by another United Hatzalah EMT Shoshana Primak, who works as a doula and volunteers as part of the organization’s women’s unit that specializes in assisting women during medical emergencies. The pair of EMTs assist the woman through the birthing process and help her bring into the world her new baby daughter before the ambulance was able to arrive. Shoshana and Daniel cleaned the baby, and when the ambulance arrived, they helped the mother and daughter board the vehicle to be transported to the hospital.
The pair of volunteers parted ways. Shoshana, who had started her night on a previous call transporting a different woman in labor to Bikur Cholim hospital just before midnight on Sunday, went home to sleep. Daniel went to the hospital, visited his daughter and new grandson, and headed back home for a bit of sleep, and then to pray the morning prayers.
Just as Daniel was leaving to head to prayers and Shoshana was getting up to begin her day, they each received another emergency alert about a woman in active labor on Neiman Street in their own neighborhood. Both EMTs once again rushed over to the address, and once again met one another at the emergency.
The pair got to work once again and assisted this new mother in delivering a son, also prior to the ambulance’s arrival. After finishing their work they parted ways once again and both headed back home. “I thought, okay two births and one transport was all that it was going to be for the day, but I was wrong,” said Shoshana. Both EMTs were called out again at 9:30 a.m. to another active labor on Zevin Street.
“Today certainty has been a bit different,” Daniel said after returning home from the third birth of the morning. “I’ve responded to births before and even have merited to assist in deliveries, but I have never had a morning with three deliveries in such a short time frame. These are people in my neighborhood and being able to help bring life into the community is something that is very inspiring to me. United Hatzalah is an organization that is based on the idea of first responders assisting their own communities. Our volunteers are primarily active in the communities in which they live. Helping fellow community members is what we specialize in doing. Being able to assist my neighbors, friends, and loved ones, when they need medical assistance, is something that I cherish. Being able to do that, and also bring new life into the world is a special experience that I am thankful that I have been given the opportunity to do.”
“One of the main reasons I became an EMT, is to help women who arrive in this situation of giving birth at home, outside of the safety and comfort of a hospital, so that they will have the most pleasant experience possible in that given scenario. Ideally, I try to help as much as I can so that they go through the experience with as little trauma as possible. Having a woman at the scene to assist, to comfort the mother, and to be able to be the one who helps her to deliver can make a huge difference. If I can make the birthing experience a positive one, then so much the better. I was happy to be able to be there for these women, to help calm their nerves, ease the process, and to give them the opportunity to have a woman present to help deliver them.” The final birth of the morning was Shoshana’s 50th time assisting a woman in a home delivery since she began volunteering as an EMT.
To support the work of volunteers like Daniel and Shoshana please click here: