Iraqi Red Crescent Paramedic: 18 Hours of Work Is Not Enough

Imad Sabah’s life changed more than 15 years ago, when he met an Iraqi Red Crescent Society’s volunteer collecting donations for displaced people in Anbar. When Imad heard how people had to leave all their belongings behind and seek safety away from home, and how the Red Crescent was supporting them, he was touched and decided to join the RC himself.

Since that date, as a RC volunteer and an active member of the emergency response team, Imad has been an important part of the ongoing humanitarian work of the Iraqi Red Crescent Society during many difficult situations Iraq has witnessed over the years.

After joining the Red Crescent, Imad Sabah has been trained on various humanitarian skills such as first aid, psychological support, disaster management and response. Imad, who always carries his first aid bag with him, has saved the lives of hundreds of people.

Lately, since the demonstrations started in Baghdad, he has been leading the emergency first aid team rescuing the wounded either on site in Tahrir Square or transporting them to nearby hospitals.

Working for more than 18 hours a day, Imad and his team refuse to leave the site of the demonstrations even during their breaks.

“I don’t feel tired, even though this work is very stressful. My team and I work in Tahrir Square in Baghdad, where we provide first aid for the injured. For more critical cases, we transport the injured to hospital and help the medical staff to manage the influx of people”, Imad explains.

The best reward Imad and his team get is from the people they help.

“We feel their love and appreciation. As soon as they see our logo, they allow us to help them, they give us access and they trust us. This is the best kind of a reward: access to those who need us.”

On a personal level, Imad has recently married another Iraqi Red Crescent volunteer - with whom he promised to spend the remaining 6 hours, after 18 hours a day saving lives.