HCT Emergency Medical Services Students Encounter Real-Life Scenarios at Massive Road Accident Simulation


Training event held in conjunction with ‎‎Dubai Police, DCAS & Leader Healthcare

Dubai: Fifty Emergency Medical Services (EMS) students from the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) were faced with the horror and panic of a multiple-casualty emergency scenario, when they took the role of emergency care providers at a massive road accident simulation. 

The scenario, hosted at the HCT-Dubai Women’s campus, was held in conjunction with ‎‎Dubai Police, the Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services (DCAS) and ‎Leader Healthcare, which provided emergency vehicles, personnel and equipment.

For the 36 female and 14 male EMS students, the simulation was an adrenaline filled, hands-on training and assessment exercise, requiring them to respond to an incident of reckless driving, which left two motorists and a pedestrian seriously injured. In addition, the students had to contain spillage of deadly substance at the crash site. A total of 37 volunteers, made up of HCT staff and students and DCAS volunteers, played the roles of patients.

The EMS students responded immediately by establishing and coordinating an incident command, communications and Situational Reports (SITREP) relating to hospitals, patients and resources. They then removed all patients safely to the treatment area, which included decontamination operations, and provided the appropriate triage, emergency and in-hospital treatment, and management of all patients.

The enactment was brought to life with the involvement of a Disaster Bus and ambulances from DCAS, Dubai Police Rescue Units, Dubai Police Rescue Hazardous Material Decontamination unit and Dubai Police Rescue Lighting Units. In addition, the simulation saw the “Jaws of Life” (hydraulic cutters and spreaders) in operation, while the EMS students gained first-hand use of ECG monitors, mechanical ventilators, bone injection guns, immobilization equipment and surgical kits.

Students were assessed on their experience and skills in conducting clinical situations, working under pressure, assessing and treating injuries and coordinating with the emergency task force. They were also assessed on their soft skills, such as communication, de-escalation, professionalism, interdisciplinary liaison and coordination.

Dr. Alex Zahavich, HCT Chief Academic Officer, said the event facilitated the EMS students in experiencing a real-life scenario, where they could apply their training in dealing with road accident injuries, culminating in their performances being evaluated.

“The whole exercise measures their skills, practical experience and even their personal capabilities in how to manage the situation and work in a team,” Dr. Zahavich said.

Dr. Zahavich thanked all participants, including the Dubai Police, Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services, and Leader Healthcare, which ensured the simulation was of great benefit to the students. He also commended the vital role of the HCT students and staff, who volunteered as the accident ‘victims’. 

Dr. Gregory Blatch, HCT Executive Dean of Health Sciences, stressed the importance of this field education, providing realistic simulations. “This experiential learning and assessment exercise is critical to the development of key competencies in the clinical training of our Emergency Medical Services students,” he said.

“It provides the EMS students with a high fidelity, immersive clinical experience that will test their abilities to work under pressure and make sound clinical judgements,” he added.

Dr. Blatch said the simulation exercise serves HCT’s mission, and reflects the high quality of the HCT’s education model, to produce highly professional graduates who are ready to enter the workforce and respond to the country’s needs.

HCT’s EMS program is currently offered at its campuses in Sharjah, Abu Dhabi and Al Ain, with around 275 students enrolled. The program is delivered in partnership with DCAS, Dubai Police, Abu Dhabi Police, National Ambulance, and Irish National Ambulance. 

The local and international collaborations have contributed to the graduation of highly qualified, skilled Emirati professionals, ready to work as front line responders in this vital field.

About HCT:

Founded in 1988, the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) is the UAE’s largest applied higher educational institution, gaining a well-respected reputation for innovative education practices and job-focused experiential learning.

Over 20,000 students attend 16 modern, technology-oriented men’s and women’s campuses throughout the UAE. HCT offers over 70 academic programs in Applied Media, Business, Computer Information Science, Education, Engineering Technology & Science and Health Sciences.

These programs are all designed in consultation with business and industry leaders, and incorporate principles of Innovation and Entrepreneurship to ensure HCT students’ skills are up-to-date and to the highest standards. The HCT courses are a hybrid blend of innovative, technology-driven academic studies and work-relevant programs, ensuring that HCT graduates have the necessary 21st century skills to make positive and lasting contributions to society in the 4th Industrial Revolution.

The HCT 4.0 strategic plan, which is strongly aligned to the goals of the National Employment Strategy 2031, was launched in March 2019 with the theme of Employability and Beyond, and consists of three pillars – “Technical Leaders”, “No Emirati Left Behind” and “Graduate Companies”. HCT 4.0 will equip UAE’s National workforce with future skills required in the labor market, so as to meet national goals. It will also empower graduates and employees to be familiar with technological updates and enhance their skills, so as to keep pace with accelerating job changes dictated by the 4th Industrial Revolution and the rapid development of Artificial Intelligence skills.

HCT is a vital contributor to the national agendas, including providing education opportunities to every male and female Emirati and also being announced as a free zone, under the UAE’s Fifty Year Charter”, which stipulates that UAE public and private universities will be announced as free zones that allow students to carry out business and creative activities. In addition, the HCT is prominent in its role as a federal institution by promoting applied research opportunities to faculty and students.

The HCT has also embraced a global perspective on applied education by establishing the Global Applied Education Network (GAEN), which sees it partner with global educational institutions.