The volunteers competed for three weeks, with the finals held at Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi recently Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: After three weeks of competition and displays of emergency response skills, three teams made up of volunteers won the SANID Championship 2023 after the finals ended at Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi recently.

SANID, affiliated with the Emirates Foundation, is the volunteer emergency response programme of the UAE.

The finals included a series of emergency response challenges tackled by nine volunteering teams that had qualified from the first stage of the championship. A panel of 26 judges determined the winners of the first, second and third places.

The three winning teams were awarded at a ceremony attended by Ahmed Al Shamsi, CEO of Emirates Foundation; Saif Mohammed Arhama Al Shamsi, Deputy Director-General of the National Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Management Authority (NCEMA), and a number of the Foundation’s strategic partners.

The competition saw participation of 166 volunteers of 22 different nationalities from across the UAE taking part in teams to tackle timed challenges covering everything from first aid to lifting and carrying victims, Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), and fire extinguishing.

Ahmed Al Shamsi said: “This competition is testament to the unwavering dedication of individuals who understand that a well-prepared community is stronger and more resilient. Being an emergency response volunteer isn’t just goodwill; it’s a profound expression of solidarity, empathy, and commitment to others’ wellbeing. The UAE is proud of the selfless volunteers who tirelessly train to safeguard us during adversity – your actions inspire us to always support one another.”

He added: “We are delighted to witness the remarkable achievements of the SANID Championship, as it cultivates unity among dedicated volunteers from across the country. By enhancing their proficiency in safeguarding local communities during crises, this event perfectly aligns with the overarching mission of the SANID Programme – to empower highly skilled emergency response volunteers, ready to provide vital support to both local and national authorities in times of emergencies.”

Saif Mohammed Arhama Al Shamsi also commented on the significance of the championship, saying: “Once again, our partnership with Emirates Foundation for this year’s SANID Championship has been nothing short of inspiring. This initiative serves as a rallying call for our community members to bolster their preparedness for any unforeseen emergencies within our nation. It vividly underscores the invaluable contribution of volunteerism in tackling and triumphing over the challenges and crises that we may face.”

SANID Championship 2023 was held in collaboration with strategic partner NCEMA; hosting partners Khalifa University, Fatima College of Health Sciences, RAK Medical and Health Sciences University and Ajman Creative Hub; SANID Programme’s partners Directorate General of Dubai Civil Defence, General Command of Civil Defence – Ras Al Khaimah, Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services and Al Wahda Football Club; and Emirates Foundation’s partners Dolphin Energy, Oxy, Total Energies and Borealis.