For the most part, were going to be turning lose a great group of guys (and girls, but that's a whole 'nother can of worms, for a whole 'nother blog post). They will begin their internship year in September, check in with us monthly, and be given some pretty intensive on the job training. At the end of the year, they will take their exam with the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties. Upon passing they will be licensed as Paramedics, designated as Specialists and will be the people who respond to your emergency, (God forbid you have one!).
What I wanted to tell you about though, was the great bunch of Saudi Paramedics I've met lately, yes that's right they already exist. Lets break them down and see what they're made of.
Skills: 1st rate, every one of them that I've seen, have first rate skills. Just as good, if not better than any American paramedic.
Language: High quality Arabic and English, fully able to understand and communicate in the two most commonly used languages in the Kingdom.
Years of training: 4-6 years, yes that's right, 4-6 years! They have knowledge sets closer to that of a PA than a Paramedic. Many were initially educated here in the Kingdom and then sent to the US for further training. They've trained at Eastern Kentucky University http://emc.eku.edu/emc-bs-paramedicscience-option University of Maryland Baltimore County http://ehs.umbc.edu/ and others.
Certifications: NREMT-P/NRP, PHTLS, American Heart Association BLS, ACLS, PALS Many also carry the CCEMT-P though I've yet to see one with the elusive and exclusive FP-C, or CC-P. However they also carry multiple optional certs that are industry appropriate.
Where they work: This is where it gets a little funny, if you want to see Saudi Paramedics with the above resumes, chances are you'll have to be dying or very seriously injured. They work on Helicopters with the SRCA and its contract helicopter services (Alpha Star and PHI). They work for the National Guard Hospital, and the Security Forces Hospital. Pretty much, they work exclusively for the government.
In summary, the Saudi Paramedics I've had the pleasure of meeting over the past month have been first rate providers that can take care of a loved one of mine any day. I'm hoping, that the program I've been working with is going to give the Kingdom a lot more of them to go around!