On Wednesday evening at 7:33 p.m., United Hatzalah volunteer Bat Sheva Gross was baking at home when she was alerted by dispatch to a medical emergency that was occurring nearby. A woman was in the late stages of labor in the Kiryat Belz neighborhood of Jerusalem. She abandoned her baking preparations and rushed to respond to the emergency. In just three minutes, Bat Sheva arrived at the appropriate address and met a worried man downstairs who said he was the husband of the woman in labor. The husband led Bat Sheva inside the apartment where she found the woman in the advanced stages of labor.
The couple was immensely relieved to see a female volunteer EMT. Another United Hatzalah volunteer had arrived a few seconds before Bat Sheva, but the couple was more comfortable with a woman first responder assisting with the sensitive situation. Bat Sheva got to work immediately, pulling on her gloves and assisting the woman in an active birth, while the male EMT stood by waiting to help if called upon.
Bat Sheva helped the mother-to-be with her breathing and assisted her with the delivery. After the new baby girl let out her first wail, Bat Sheva performed a quick APGAR assessment pleased to see that the little baby and her mother were both healthy. The experienced EMT and phlebotomist dried and warmed the infant, cut the umbilical cord, and then gently handed the wrapped little bundle to the mother, congratulating her on her new baby daughter.
Five minutes after Bat Sheva arrived, she helped the new mother and daughter to the United Hatzalah ambulance that had arrived in order to take them to the maternity ward at the nearest hospital for a complete check-up and postpartum care.
“I’m no stranger to quick childbirths,” said Bat Sheva, who has already assisted in the deliveries of 15 other women in addition to having gone through 11 of her own.
“From a very young age, I was interested in the medical field and busied myself with reading articles on the matter. I am excited to rush and help save the life of any person no matter race, religion, or gender. However, I feel especially connected to the women whom I treat. I receive the most satisfaction from being able to assist women going through the experience of childbirth. Even in cases where I don’t speak the same language as the woman I am helping, there is still a connection as we speak the language of women and that is enough.”
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