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Samu was set up in 1981 by Dr. Carlos Álvarez Leiva. The organisation started out as a company that provided medical coverage devices and several years later, mobile intensive care units (MICUs). Samu is, in fact, the oldest emergency services that exists in Spain, as it was the first company to import and operate an MICU in this country.

During the following decades, Samu gradually became a leading organisation in emergency medicine services and as an Emergency Medicine School. Since the 1980s, it has trained hundreds of professional healthcare workers.

In 2005, Samu extended its operations to the social action field, providing a wide range of care services for vulnerable groups in sectors such as the Elderly, Minors, Immigrants, Persons with Intellectual Disability and Behavioural Disorders, Acquired Brain Damage, Minors requiring Protection and Mental Health, providing Day Care, Nursing Home, Assisted Living Facilities, Temporary Emergency Reception Centres and Support and School Assistant services to students with Special Educational Needs.

D. Carlos Álvarez Leiva, fundador de SAMU