Background: A disaster is a severe functional disruption of a community, and occurring over a short or long period of time that causes widespread human, material, economic, or environmental loss which exceeds the ability of the affected community or society to cope using its own resources. In this study, we aimed to assess the awareness and confidence of Saudi emergency medical services (EMS) students regarding disaster response skills, and to identify the preferred method of induction and training for coping with a disaster situation.
Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional survey, modified from the Arabic Disaster Preparedness Evaluation Tool, was distributed in all colleges for EMS in Saudi Arabia, including government and private colleges, targeted at alumni of the EMS class of 2017/18.
Results: A total of 329 surveys were collected. EMS students were shown to be prepared to face a disaster situation (M = 3.44; M = 3.84). Practical simulations and live drills were the preferred method of emergency procedures induction (M = 4.52).
Conclusion: EMS students were confident in their disaster response ability, favoring live drills as a method of re-enforcing emergency practices.
Key words: Confidence, students, EMS, disaster response, Hajj, Umrah.