ABU DHABI, 14th April, 2022 (WAM) — The National Ambulance and Special Olympics UAE have rolled out the implementation of Automated External Defibrillators (AED) for People of Determination clubs and centres across the UAE, in a bid to provide a safe training environment, in line with the American Heart Association and international safety standards.
The rollout is part of the third phase of the “Train Safely” initiative, which, once fully implemented, will provide the highest level of safety and care for People of Determination with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
The roll out follows the completion of theoretical and practical Heartsaver First Aid CPR AED for training coaches, taught by National Ambulance and covering all aspects of first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and the use of AED, according to the AHA 2020 guidelines. The installation of the lifesaving devices follows specialised technical training delivered through National Ambulance’s AED Implementation Programme, to ensure that coaches can operate these devices in emergency situations, such as heart attacks, which increase the chances of survival and minimise complications for athletes.
The devices were presented during a ceremony that took place in the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, in the presence of Talal Al Hashemi, National Director of Special Olympics UAE, Ahmed Al Hajeri, CEO of National Ambulance, Abdulla AlWheibi, Clubs and Talent Director at Abu Dhabi Sports Council, Dr Ayman Ahmad, Chief Administrative and Medical Officer, and Prof. Ahed Al Najjar, EMS Education and Research Manager at National Ambulance, as well as Special Olympics UAE Coaches and Club Representatives.
“Special Olympics UAE’s commitment to equip their sports centres with lifesaving AED devices is a pioneering step that will undoubtedly contribute to improving the infrastructure efficiency of facilities and sports bodies for People of Determination and raise the preparedness for emergency situations,” said Ahmed Saleh Al Hajeri, National Ambulance CEO.
Al Hajeri added, “Reaching the full implementation phase of the Train Safely initiative reflects our commitment to social responsibility. The success of our partnership with Special Olympics UAE has already resulted in many achievements, including the strengthening of the safety standards offered to People of Determination in the clubs and enhancing the ambulance knowledge and a prevention culture among their coaches, and this latest phase will further improve our support for them.”
The automated external defibrillator is used following the appearance of cardiac arrest symptoms, including loss of consciousness, cessation of normal breathing, no pulse or absence of any signs of circulatory activity. The user friendly device contributes greatly to saving lives and minimising mortality rates. The electric device analyses heart rhythms, determining if an electric shock is needed based on this data.