First Response International Missions

Examples of SAMU’s most recent international work include the deployment of Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) teams to assist with emergency response efforts after the earthquakes in Turkey and Morocco, the reception of migrants arriving at the Canary Islands in Spain, and six months of assistance for refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine.

Learn more about our international missions:
  • 2023

     

    Mission Marrakech

    SAMU Maroc, with the collaboration of Project Hope, went to aid the victims of the Marrakech Earthquake 2023 mission aimed at supporting search efforts for survivors and reinforcing health care provision in remote areas. Departing from SAMU School in Gelves on September 9, 2023 to Marrakech, Morocco, and returning on September 30, 2023, the mission focused on collaboration with Marrakech International Clinique to prioritize the ADASSIL area, which was identified as the earthquake´s epicenter.

    Two teams, consisting of 18 participants, including doctors, nurses, rescuers, logisticians, and a psychologist, were deployed. The first team provided care for 70 individuals and the second team assisted 536, totaling 606 people served.

    This mission demonstrated our commitment to aiding those affected by disasters and delivering essential healthcare services in challenging circumstances.

  • 2023

    Mission Chile

    We joined forces with PAHO and MINSAL Chile in the mission to Coyhaique (Chilean Patagonia) to strengthen the Pediatric ICU unit of the Coyhaique Regional Hospital. Departing from the SAMU School in Gelves (Spain) on June 23, 2023, and returning on July 10, 2023, the objective of the mission was to help serve patients of the Pediatric Intermediate Treatment Unit and ICU.

    Two teams’office participants included doctors, nurses, and a Mission Chief, worked tirelessly to provide care to 18 pediatric patients. This team focused on enhancing the capabilities of the hospital, this mission was crucial in ensuring quality healthcare for the children of Coyhaique.

     

    2023

  • 2023

     

    Mission Turkey

    SAMU, with the collaboration of Project HOPE, embarked on a mission to Turkey from February 8, 2023, to February 13, 2023.

    The primary objective was to provide support in K9 search and rescue to communities affected by the earthquake. Collaborating with local entities, including Adiyaman and Antioch, the mission aimed to serve populations in need by deploying a team comprising of one Director and four participants. This team focused on conducting search and rescue operations for deceased individuals and found 23 bodies during the mission, who were then able to be returned home to their families for a proper and honored burial.

  • 2022

    Mission Ukraine

    From March 3rd to June 18th of 2022, SAMU was deployed to care for Ukrainian migrants and refugees in Rumania, Moldova and Poland. During those 108 days, 39 professionals in five different teams cared for 2.097 patients at different border points and migrant shelters. SAMU teams were present in Isaccea Port (Romania), Refugee Center at Ivanccea (Moldova), MoldExpo Refugee Center in Chisinau (Moldova) and Krakow (Poland). SAMU First Response teams were in constant coordination with the WHO EMT Coordination Cell, Moldova Ministry of Health, Romanian Civil Protection /Fire Authorities and SwissAid.

    Amongst the multiple activities conducted during our deployment, the most relevant were:

    • Isaccea Border Crossing Health Post.
    • Refugee Shelter Mobile Health Team.
    • Mold Expo Refugee Shelter Fix Team.
    • Krakow Recognizance Team.
    • Critical Patient Transport (Mobile ICU)

    This intervention was made possible by many institutional donations from Project Hope, Andalusian Regional Government (Spain), Project B-Green, Seville Rotary Club and many individual donors from all over the world. Total Individual Donations received amounted to $39.928,86 which, thanks to SAMU´s collaborating partners raised to equal €257.058,12 for the mission Total Expenses. For further details about this mission, you may review our final mission report here.

     

    2022

  • 2020

     

    Mission El Salvador

    An intervention team from SAMU was deployed to El Salvador in July in response to a call from their government to SAMU First Response. A team of 28 individuals went there to help them as they faced a sanitary crisis caused by COVID-19.

    Given the situation in El Salvador, the Ministerio de Salud made an official call to Dr. Carlos Álvarez Leiva, Founder of SAMU, to aid a national hospital in San Salvador, the nation´s capital. The hospital was inaugurated by president Nayub Bukele. The hospital has 1,000 beds of emergency and ICU support, making it the biggest hospital in Latin America. The urgent petition came as there was a great need for volunteer medical support at all levels. This call also came with a need for instruction and knowledge transfer, something deep into SAMU’s mission and structure.

    To respond to the call, SAMU went through an intense selection process in which more than 100 professionals from different parts of Spain applied. On July 29, 2020, the team of 28 professionals departed to San Salvador for a month-long mission.

  • 2020

    Hurricane Iota

    The hurricanes that hit Honduras in 2020 raised the alarms of humanitarian crisis. Hurricanes Eta and Iota caused extreme damage to the sanitary and non-sanitary systems in the country. The World Health Organization made a call for organizations to provide emergency humanitarian assistance to the country. SAMU responded to the call and deployed a team of 14 professionals to form an emergency medical team.

     

    2020