We got called to an accident down the road. About 20 minutes later, we arrive at a crest in the road, made notable in the moonless night by the collection of cars and police lights.
About 30 to 50 meters off the road away is a bashed up compact car resting in the rocky sand. Our patient is the driver and he's secured to a backboard in a Red Crescent Society ambulance.
Here's a wierd bit: since the patient is an employee of my parent company the Red Crescent Ambulance waited on scene for about 10 to 15 minutes for us to arrive and take the patient to our company hospital which happens to be a few kilometers from their base.
Oh well. That's how thing are done over here.
The Red Crescent ambulances around here are staffed and equipped at a very basic level. Some have the ability to start IVs, administer glucose checks and give nebulizer treatments but that's about as advanced as they get. The Red Crescent guys had secured my patient to a backboard but hadn't secured his head, applied a cervical collar, conducted any examination or even taken vitals. They pulled their stretcher out as we approached with ours and I had to wade through the typical crowd of well-meaning but dangerous bystanders grabbing, pulling and trying to "help."
The Red Crescent guys don't speak English and my Arabic is not much more advanced beyond "Yes, no, thanks, hello," and "Where do you have pain?" but I immediately see that they want to lift the patient off their backboard and onto ours. I use a little pantomime, make eye contact, smile and then grab each of their hands and out them where they should be for a proper logroll. They get it right away and we do it by the numbers. It's neat to see that common training show up even across such wide gaps in culture and geography.