A programme to train young Emiratis in emergency medical care was announced on Monday.
The National Ambulance, in coordination with the University of Sharjah (UoS), rolled out a one-year Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) training course for the Emiratis in the Northern Emirates to qualify as emergency pre-hospital care professionals.
The EMT training course that targets high school graduates will train students in crucial medical services that could save lives in emergency situations.
The free training programme will prepare Emiratis to work on the front-line of medical emergency response with National Ambulance and guarantee employment opportunities for those who successfully complete the programme.
"We want more UAE nationals to be involved in this important job of providing emergency services and saving their own people," Ahmed Saleh Al Hajeri, deputy CEO of National Ambulance, told Khaleej Times.
"At the present, all staff providing emergency pre-hospital care in the National Ambulance in the Northern Emirates are expats. No Emiratis are in this field. We would like this to change over the years."
Al Hajeri said the figures show that there are 34 Emiratis in the rescue and emergency services in Abu Dhabi, 54 in Dubai but none in the Northern Emirates.
A total of 35 Emirati high school graduates from a non-clinical background would be admitted for the purposely designed full-time course every year. The training will provide students with the theoretical knowledge and work experience they will need to take up employment as an EMT with National Ambulance.
Al Hajeri added: "In this Year of Giving, National Ambulance's new EMT training programme for Emiratis reflects our commitment to support the local community and deliver the UAE's goals for the future. Together with the University of Sharjah, we are responding to the demands of a growing health sector and the need for highly-trained health professionals who come from the communities where we operate. Not only are we providing education on par with the international standards, but also ensuring a career path to young Emiratis."
The National Ambulance has responded to 67,000 emergency calls across the Northern Emirates.
Prof Qutayba Hamid, vice-chancellor for the medical and health sciences colleges at the University of Sharjah, said: "Our team worked so hard to prepare a special and vital emergency training programme for the UAE nationals within a very short period of time. This very important initiative will provide students with high quality training in emergency pre-hospital care."
"The full-time programme is scheduled to start in September 2017 at the University of Sharjah's College of Medicine and the Clinical and Surgical Training Centre. The classes will be conducted by a team of academic specialists from the University of Sharjah and Charles Sturt University alongside internationally trained educators from National Ambulance."