IntlSOS 30 Years - From East to West - Page 128

International SOS | From East to West
Our partnership with RMSI
is another step towards our
commitment to clients.
— Laurent Sabourin
The strategic alliance was announced on 10 October,
2010. RMSI became the sole provider for International
SOS when delivering medical services in hostile
environments, providing those services to the same
standards as International SOS. It was a win-win;
many of our oil and gas clients who wanted to be in
such territories were happy to go with RMSI on the
back of our support.
Laurent Sabourin explained the rationale behind
the alliance:
Rob Lamb in 2008, inspecting the
RMSI team’s delivery of emergency
medical services to the US Department
of Defense in Iraq.
Fact No. 23
“Our partnership with RMSI is another step towards
our commitment to clients, offering them the
specialist resources and expertise needed to keep
their global workforce healthy and secure wherever
they work or travel. It is another example of the
highly integrated services we can now offer.”
The business rapidly developed and that brought
some challenges. When fighting in the hostile
environments died down, the oil and gas clients
wanted to revert to their traditional International SOS
service. Meanwhile, decision making in the much
larger RMSI, with approximately 500 staff, had
become more cumbersome. So, in April 2014 another
meeting was held in Paris. As Rob explains: “Chapter
two in our history began – back to our roots.”
Much of RMSI’s traditional business was folded into
the operations of International SOS in the EEMEA
region, and RMSI now focuses on ‘rapid deployment
medical and rescue’ services. RMSI is now centred
on a dedicated team of field specialists, mostly
ex-military, who can be called upon to go anywhere
at any time. They focus on extreme risk operations
such as supporting journalists in Gaza or carrying
out dedicated medevac services for the UN troops
in Mali. They often work with Control Risks for
particular evacuations and escorts. This all suits
Rob and his team as they are very used to hostile
environments and war zones.
As well as the ‘rapid deployment special missions’,
RMSI has a series of ‘central operations’. These
are often in support of government services, for
example, running field hospitals in Mogadishu
and the Central African Republic for the UN,
and providing an emergency response service
for a NATO base in Afghanistan.
Rob believes this refocusing of responsibilities
between RMSI and International SOS is ideal. The
business has benefitted from shared clients and
adopting our high standards. Plus Rob hugely values
the support and advice he receives, “even if Laurent
does hold his breath every time I go BASE jumping!”
Today, our staff includes
1,200 doctors and
200 security specialists.
Right: RMSI medical evacuation team
collecting a patient from the German
military hospital in Herat, Afghanistan
2007, evacuating first to Kabul and
onwards to Dubai. The small dirt runway
required using a turboprop aircraft
instead of a jet for the evacuation.


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