Do you still wonder why some ambulance in Dubai is painted pink and more amused seeing it manned by all female medics in pink uniforms?
The Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services (DCAS) began operating the so called Mama Unit ambulances sometime in July 2009. The agency aimed to provide both quality service and to respect traditions which are often very difficult combining in the field of medicine. Initially, DCAS trained eight female nurses to be assigned in two ambulance units especially dedicated to female patients. The primary function of these units is to cater Obstetrics, Gynecology and Neonatal related emergencies but, oftentimes these Mama units served as a backup unit to any case having female patient requesting female medic for assessment and treatment.
Now, the almost all Filipina team has grown. Nurses of other nationalities were also trained to become pink medics. Citizens in theemirates also honored the innovative idea of DCAS though different commendations and awards. In the same similar way, let us tell more stories of women in a man world before.We should honor their services and commitment as part ofthe 2014 International Women’s Month celebration.
Two of the admired pink medics, Jenifer Rufino and Hazel Margarita Parado flew from Philippines to Dubai in the eve of New Year’s Day in 2006. They were part of female nurses hired to work as ambulance nurses. That night, they shared anxious feeling of leaving their family to surpass in a men’s world only armed with hope and wishful mind of good fortune. For eight years, they survived different trials and laughers. The two both agreed that equality for women can contribute of bring progressive society.
Jenififer, 37, a native of Palawan, is now an airport medic and once part of Mama Units. “Equality for women can be achieved if there will be acceptance. Although it seems that equality play a small and not so critical role in progress, it is still essential.”
“I am saving the life of others, minutes before the ambulance arrived. Whenever someone needs medical or trauma assistance and dialed the emergency number 999, dispatchers like me are the first responder” said Jigs when asked to describe her vital role in Dubai ambulance.
“With this kind of work I don’t need the masculinity of a man, moreover the women’s intuition helped me a lot to be more compassionate with the caller” she also told.
Hazel grow up in Ilocos Norte. She studied in Mariano Marcos State University High School and took the Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing at United Doctors Medical Center in Quezon City. Known as Jigs, she also worked as Firefighter/Rescue-Medic from the Bureau of Fire Protection Philippines for six years with the rank of Fire Officer 1 before going to Dubai.
contributed by Geoffrey Panganiban, RN