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'The best job in the world': a Madrid ambulance doctor's dedication after a year of COVID-19

Despite many sleepless nights on Spain's COVID-19 frontline, Dr Navid Behzadi Koochani of Madrid's regional ambulance service goes to work smiling almost every day. Calls to the Madrid service have jumped by a third in the year since the coronavirus struck the world, averaging 4,000 a day, but Behzadi is proud of his team's ability to swoop in and save lives, and is optimistic the vaccine rollout heralds the end of the pandemic.

March 16, 2021 / 04:30 PM IST
Madrid Emergency Service (SUMMA) UVI-3 unit's Dr Navid Behzadi Koochani treats a patient inside his home during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Madrid, Spain, March 2. "These are situations that affect you emotionally... You're there the next day thinking over how fragile life really is and, on the other hand, how lucky we are to be alive," said Behzadi. (Image: Reuters)
Madrid Emergency Service (SUMMA) UVI-3 unit's Dr Navid Behzadi Koochani treats a patient inside his home during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Madrid, Spain, March 2. "These are situations that affect you emotionally... You're there the next day thinking over how fragile life really is and, on the other hand, how lucky we are to be alive," said Behzadi. (Image: Reuters)
Madrid Emergency Service (SUMMA) UVI-3 unit's Dr Navid Behzadi Koochani prepares to respond to an emergency call during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Madrid, Spain, March 2. "I'm optimistic that in a few months we will be able to take off our masks again, hug each other and have a beer with our friends," said Behzadi. (Image: Reuters)
Madrid Emergency Service (SUMMA) UVI-3 unit's Dr Navid Behzadi Koochani prepares to respond to an emergency call during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Madrid, Spain, March 2. "I'm optimistic that in a few months we will be able to take off our masks again, hug each other and have a beer with our friends," said Behzadi. (Image: Reuters)
Madrid Emergency Service (SUMMA) UVI-3 unit's Dr Navid Behzadi Koochani and technician Almudena Perez Santamaria transfer a COVID-19 patient during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Madrid, Spain, February 12. (Image: Reuters)
Madrid Emergency Service (SUMMA) UVI-3 unit's Dr Navid Behzadi Koochani and technician Almudena Perez Santamaria transfer a COVID-19 patient during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Madrid, Spain, February 12. (Image: Reuters)
Madrid Emergency Service (SUMMA) UVI-4 unit's Dr Gabriel Jesus Martinez-Villasenor, nurse Sara Diaz Castro and resident nurse Silvia Martin Martin treat a patient inside an ambulance during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Madrid, Spain, February 3. "You have to enjoy every little moment you have in life because you don't know what might happen to you," said Diaz. (Image: Reuters)
Madrid Emergency Service (SUMMA) UVI-4 unit's Dr Gabriel Jesus Martinez-Villasenor, nurse Sara Diaz Castro and resident nurse Silvia Martin Martin treat a patient inside an ambulance during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Madrid, Spain, February 3. "You have to enjoy every little moment you have in life because you don't know what might happen to you," said Diaz. (Image: Reuters)
Madrid Emergency Service (SUMMA) UVI-4 unit's workers transfer a patient on a wheelchair down stairs, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Madrid, Spain, February 9. (Image: Reuters)
Madrid Emergency Service (SUMMA) UVI-4 unit's workers transfer a patient on a wheelchair down stairs, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Madrid, Spain, February 9. (Image: Reuters)
Madrid Emergency Service (SUMMA) UVI-4 unit's Dr Gabriel Jesus Martinez-Villasenor, nurse Sara Diaz Castro and resident nurse Silvia Martin Martin wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as they prepare to treat a patient inside his home during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Madrid, Spain, February 3. "I want to go out with my friends, I want to go to work and not have to wear protection. I want to see patients without a mask," said Diaz. (Image: Reuters)
Madrid Emergency Service (SUMMA) UVI-4 unit's Dr Gabriel Jesus Martinez-Villasenor, nurse Sara Diaz Castro and resident nurse Silvia Martin Martin wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as they prepare to treat a patient inside his home during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Madrid, Spain, February 3. "I want to go out with my friends, I want to go to work and not have to wear protection. I want to see patients without a mask," said Diaz. (Image: Reuters)
Madrid Emergency Service (SUMMA) UVI-4 unit's workers transfer a patient on a stretcher during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Madrid, Spain, February 9. (Image: Reuters)
Madrid Emergency Service (SUMMA) UVI-4 unit's workers transfer a patient on a stretcher during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Madrid, Spain, February 9. (Image: Reuters)
Madrid Emergency Service (SUMMA) UVI-4 unit's technician Maria Angeles Jurado Sanchez is disinfected by a colleague after treating a patient inside his home during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Madrid, Spain, February 9. (Image: Reuters)
Madrid Emergency Service (SUMMA) UVI-4 unit's technician Maria Angeles Jurado Sanchez is disinfected by a colleague after treating a patient inside his home during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Madrid, Spain, February 9. (Image: Reuters)
Madrid Emergency Service (SUMMA) UVI-4 unit's workers transfer a patient in a wheelchair during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Madrid, Spain, February 9. (Image: Reuters)
Madrid Emergency Service (SUMMA) UVI-4 unit's workers transfer a patient in a wheelchair during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Madrid, Spain, February 9. (Image: Reuters)
Reuters
first published: Mar 16, 2021 04:30 pm

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