NAT 231009 The AccessAbility Expo CE017-1696858797453
Sensory Ambulance on display on the first day of AccessAbilities Expo at Dubai World Trade Centre on Monday Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

Dubai: UAE’s first “sensory ambulance” dedicated to serve people of determination has been launched today at the fifth edition of AccessAbilities Expo in Dubai.

The ambulance is available on call to help paramedics with an emergency concerning people with autism, Down’s Syndrome and ADHD – a neurodevelopmental disorder.

Zaid Al Mamari, Head of PODT, Dubai Ambulance, told Gulf News: “This is perhaps the world’s first sensory ambulance. World-wide there are ambulances serving people with autism. This is the first of its kind going by the name of a sensory ambulance serving children with autism, Down’s Syndrome and ADHD.”

Al Mamari said this unique ambulance serves as a back-up to a regular ambulance vehicle.

“If there is an emergency with a person of determination, first the regular ambulance will be called. It will arrive in minutes. If the paramedics are not able to calm the patient, then they will call for the sensory ambulance, which is well fitted to calm the patient.”

Al Mamari said the idea is help paramedics serve patients in the best possible manner. “If a patient is very hyper, the paramedic can call the sensory ambulance and this is sure to calm the patients down.”

Currently there is one sensory ambulance that has been launched. “Going by the need, we will have more made available.”

NAT 231009 The AccessAbility Expo CE019-1696858807287
At the moment, the unit is the only one of its kind in the country Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

Inside the ambulance

Al Mammari said the Authority has picked up elements from autism centres and transferred them into this newly designed ambulance. “This will help our paramedics do their job to 100 per cent.”

The ambulance’s interior looks like a mini autism centre. There’s a clear theme in place - it’s decorated in colours that soothe patients with autism. Fibreoptic lights have been placed to calm patients down. For a more immersive experience, a soft tone music plays inside. A glass with well-lit bubbles is also part of the set up inside the ambulance.

“The bubbles are an eye-tracker. Children follow their eyes around the bubbles, calming them down. Another coloured number marker to change lights in the ambulance is available. Inside autism centre, you will find this [kind of arrangement]. Children press the number based on the colour they are attracted to. The ambulance will then light up inside with the same colour,” Al Mamari explained.