The Emirati women saving lives with the National Ambulance service
Three Emirati women explain what drove them to sign up for the Emirati EMT National Ambulance Programme
On Emirati Women's Day, The National speaks to three Emergency Medical Technicians about their journeys to the National Ambulance service.
Marwa Alamoodi, 23
Marwa Alamoodi’s journey to the National Ambulance Service has been a test of patience for both her and her family.
For two years, the 23-year-old pleaded with her mother to allow her to join the programme.
“My mom was very hesitant and worried about me being on the field. I told her that I could do it and I did,” she said proudly.
An avid taekwondo fighter, Ms Alamoodi has been tending to her own injuries for 11 years.
“I wanted to join the National Ambulance Service because I wanted to help others and, as a taekwondo player, I realised that while I knew how to heal myself but I didn’t know how to heal others.”
She said being an EMT is challenging but the greatest hurdle was when she first started out more than a year ago.
“The hardest moments are trauma cases that involve young children like seeing a child pass away while we try to resuscitate them.”
But the job is not without its rewards. She said the greatest satisfaction she feels is when she saves a life.
“I’ll never forget when we resuscitated an elderly woman who was dying. Her husband came and thanked me the next day.”
She said more Emirati women needed to be encouraged to become emergency first responders.
“We do need more Emiratis women in this field. Being an EMT gives me a sense of national pride. I represent my country and Emirati women and wherever we go, people are proud of us,” she said
“On Emirati Women’s day, we couldn’t be prouder to be Emirati and grateful for the support of Sheikh Fatima to all women.”
Maha Al Falasi, 20
Maha Al Falasi was 10 years old when she watched her mother choke to death. After seeing the life leave her mother’s eyes, she promised herself it would be the last time she stood by helplessly in such a situation.
“There was no one around and I didn’t know what to do,” she said.
Ms Al Falasi, now 20, finished school and enrolled at a university, but knew in her gut that it was not where she wanted to be.
“I kept changing university because I didn’t feel satisfied. It didn’t feel right.
“I am a person who likes and wants to help others.”
When she heard about the National Ambulance Service’s EMT programme last year, she dropped out of university and signed up.
“This is my true calling. I may not be able to help anyone but at least I can try,” she said.
Ms Al Falasi graduated from the programme in June and has since begun practical training. In the few months she has been out with the ambulance, she has already come across some distressing cases.
“I think the worst I have seen so far was a woman who had been trying to get pregnant for 12 years. When we arrived, she had miscarried and I carried the small baby to the hospital. It was a boy,” she said.
“But you learn to deal with these situations and this is where I want to be and what I have always wanted to do.
“I am proud to be doing this job. I am proud of being an Emirati female EMT.”
On Emirati Women’s Day, she said she was proud of her countrywomen for carving a place for themselves across every field.
“It feels like times have changed overnight. Our ancestors and the women of that time were mostly housewives and look at us today. There is nothing we cannot do. Women today can be whoever they want to be.”
She said she would like to see more Emirati women in the ambulance service.
“I do feel more women are needed here especially because they are more compassionate and better at dealing with young children.”
Aisha Al Maazmi, 28
Aisha Al Maazmi has waited years to be able to join the National Ambulance Service. The 28-year-old said she followed its Instagram account for two years, patiently hoping they would begin a recruitment drive so she could apply.
She got her opportunity a few months ago with the announcement of the UAE National EMT Programme. Al Maazmi said she was among the first to sign up.
“Even before they posted anything, I knew I would join them,” she said.
Both her parents are dead but she said she had the full support of her four siblings.
“I wanted to do humanitarian work more than anything else in my life,” she said.
Ms Al Maazmi studied communications at university but knew she wanted to dedicate her life to something more meaningful.
“I know that being an EMT has nothing to do with communications but this is my calling,” she said happily.
“I have always cared for others. Even among my family, I am always taking the younger kids to the hospital and always there whenever anyone needed anything. I love helping others and the National Ambulance service has given me that chance.”
Ms Al Maazmi will join the ambulance’s year-long programme this week. She receives her uniform on Thursday and then begin her theoretical and practical training to qualify her as an EMT.
“Today, Emirati women are in every sector and every field,” she said on Tuesday, ahead of Emirati Women’s Day.
“There is nothing we cannot do and I am proud and excited to be part of a programme where I’ll be saving lives and representing my country.”
Updated: August 28, 2019 09:55 AM