Peace of Mind in Complex and Extreme Environments

Published: April 2014

Rob Lamb, founder and CEO of medical solutions provider RMSI, talks to Hotline Magazine (HL) about how their affiliation with International SOS helps extend their reach to vulnerable professionals working overseas.

HL: Can you give us an overview of the services RMSI provides?

We embrace the challenges that call on the most skilled and daring professionals in the medical sphere. As an affiliate of International SOS, we represent the medical services arm of the world’s largest provider of integrated medical and travel security risk services. Our approach is holistic, forward-thinking and life-saving.

Physically, we’re available 24/7 with an around- the-clock Mission Response Centre in Dubai, remote field hospitals and a fleet of state-of-the- art land and air emergency vehicles. We also educate companies on best practice for emergency preparedness planning. Our staff are highly trained professionals who deliver impactful lessons designed to impart the tools and understanding necessary to tackle the hazards of operating in hostile areas.

HL: How does your relationship with International SOS strengthen your offering?

RMSI is a subsidiary of International SOS. We share a number of mutual skills as well as complementary strengths. At an operational level, the unparalleled resources and infrastructure of International SOS helps us to make the most of our unique skillsets.

Clients operating in dangerous countries such as Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan feel the benefit of a seamless integration between our medical assistance and enhanced evacuation capabilities. Thanks to International SOS, we have more leverage to design effective medical support solutions appropriate both to the location and to our clients’ unique needs and budgets. For example, we’ve achieved operational integration of our Mission Response Centres and International SOS’ Assistance Centres. We’ve also aligned our medical services procedures and standards and IT systems – all of which demonstrates to our mutual clients that we offer a totally integrated and united service.

HL: Naturally, your work also helps to support the global ambitions of International SOS…

Absolutely. Our medical and operational personnel, with their very specific knowledge and experience, are second to none and an invaluable resource for International SOS. Our joint initiatives give international government, defence and private organisations access to RMSI’s pioneering medical services. That said, RMSI could not bring our skills to the right parties without the global reach of International SOS.

HL: Can you give us any examples of your work in action?

Of course. One event that springs to mind took place on 30 October 2013. A subcontractor for one of RMSI’s major clients in Iraq sustained a serious partial amputation injury to the wrist whilst operating in an oilfield. The RMSI Site Paramedic was on-hand to administer urgent medical attention and stabilise the patient. The RMSI Mission Response Centre offered top-level clinical and operational support while International SOS began the evacuation process via its global assistance platform.

By working together, RMSI and International SOS were able to transfer the patient to a ground ambulance within an hour of the incident. An RMSI Air Ambulance was then used to rush the patient from Basra International Airport to Dubai’s City Hospital less than 10 hours later. Because of our exacting medical and operational standards, and the efficient evacuation arrangements made by International SOS, the surgical team at City Hospital were able to successfully reattach the amputated limb and ensure the patient received the best possible chance of making a full recovery.

HL: Have you received any feedback that has reaffirmed the value of your services?

We hear time and time again of the many ways our work improves the lives of courageous professionals working in some of the world’s most challenging operational environments. Recently, an employee from an RMSI client subscriber wrote in to recount his experience in Afghanistan:

“I have recently been a patient of yours, both in the clinic in Kabul and on a medical flight from Kabul to Dubai. I would just like to say thank you; your teams are among the most professional I have ever met. Their calming influence, knowledge, the way two professionals accompanied me to the ISAF hospital and took control of the ICU the second they walked in; every step of the way, you gave me total faith  that I was going to be OK. Please pass on my thanks to both the Kabul team and the flight team for all their hard work in what I know was a difficult situation.”

It is feedback like this that spurs us on and inspires us to do more for our clients, expand into new regions and find revolutionary ways to mitigate the risks of working in hostile regions the world over.