IntlSOS 30 Years - From East to West - Page 127



06 Any Time, Any Place | RMSI – Helping People in Hostile Places
Major Milestone
RMSI –
Helping People in Hostile Places
Rob Lamb has been an officer in the Royal
Australian Navy and an intensive-care flight
paramedic; he ran a helicopter rescue base and has
a Master’s degree in Health Science. Above all he
describes himself as an adventurer. One of his
hobbies is BASE jumping.
In 2004 Rob worked in Iraq as an armed medic
for an Australian security company, contracted to
the US Department of Defense. He realised there
was a lack of medical support for the many foreign
civilian contractors working for the military.
Whilst many of them had insurance cover,
assistance companies had no providers in these
hostile territories. In some cases lives were lost
as a result. This inspired him to act and turn
his love of adventure into a new business.
He decided to set up in Afghanistan. In 2006, with a
staff of just one paramedic, he developed a ground
and air ambulance service for expats in Kabul. Along
the way he met an International SOS manager and
offered his services. Looking a little sceptical, our
manager told Rob he would be interested once Rob
could prove that his operation – both staff and
equipment – met our stringent standards.
Rob carried on building his business. Soon he
had a clinic, a ground and air ambulance service in
Afghanistan, and a contract providing emergency
services for the US Department of Defense in Iraq.
The team was expanding rapidly with many
doctors, nurses and paramedics servicing a
growing client base.
Having met the standards required he became a
provider to International SOS.
In April 2010 Laurent Sabourin invited Rob to meet
him for lunch. Laurent said he was impressed with
Rob’s service and suggested taking the relationship
forward. In September Rob met Arnaud, Pascal and
Laurent in Paris. Rob found the synergy between
his three hosts ‘amazing’. Nervous of meeting this
successful trio, Rob had carefully prepared answers
to financial questions – an area he felt weak in. But
Arnaud put him immediately at ease, telling him:
“We want you for who you are and what you are
doing. We do not want you to change, we will
support you.” That proved to be the case.
Left: RMSI medical crash crew service transferring patients arriving
by Black Hawk helicopter to the US Military Casualty Support Hospital,
Al Assad Airbase, Iraq, 2009. Mass casualty incidents were a common
reality during the peak of the Iraq war, where RMSI were contracted
to support both military personnel and the contractor population.
119

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