Known Markings:Officially the symbol is the Caduceus (a winged rod with a helix of serpents) rendered in blue and red. The easier to draw graffiti tag is a crossed scalpel and syringe. Other common medical signs rendered in odd colors (such as a yellow first aid cross) are occasionally used as well.
Personnel are encouraged to dress in a manner according to their profession - lab coats or EMT jumpsuits.Even without uniforms, they tend to have arm or headbands with medical symbols. Most of their vehicles are marked with a first aid cross.
Although it it a common mistake, first aid is not symbolized by a red cross - that is the mark of an international aid agency. A first aid indicator is a white cross on a green background.
Medical training is considered a prerequisite to gaining voting rights in the group. The leader is known by the title of "Head Surgeon" and is assisted by administrative staff. Beyond that the chain of command is quite short - most are grouped into response teams of varying specialties - surgery, fire, vaccination, attack, support, and scavenging. Each team in turn is equipped with vehicles as necessary to find suitable locations to set up clinics.
Estimated Forces:The group is known to have at least two hundred members, drawing from army doctors, fire fighters, police, and other first response groups. An even larger number of people willingly following to gain access to health care and other services.
The group maintains at least two functioning hospitals, and has set up several smaller clinics. At this time, they seem unable to manufacture nano-medicne, but are capable of creating at least some standard vaccines and other medications.
They maintain a number of fire engines and ambulances - which most other scavengers tend to overlook due to size, fuel requirements, and all too high visibility. Enough other high-performance vehicles are on hand to lend credence to the rumor the group is more about racing than medicine. Supposedly, they control a bio-fuel refinery to feed all these machines, though no outsider seems to know where it might be.
Although not a large military force, they do have a few emergency response power armors, and often take payments in the form of arms. Many of their unofficial followers are willing to fight for the medics to repay services rendered. They are not to be under-estimated, but are one of the more peaceful groups under the raider heading.
According to the scholar Desiderius Erasmus, "In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king." In the land of the diseased, those with medical knowledge should be elevated.
Many of the good doctors died in the Event - on their feet and trying to help during the panics and turmoil. Most surgeons had been replaced by more precise computer controlled robots and nano-machines - the EM pulse quite literally erased that profession.
But paramedics are survivors, trained to move fast, think fast, and heal fast.In turn, linked by their common experience, many came together.Eventually, they formalized a coalition dedicated to acquiring healing supplies any way necessary and tending to those in need.
Despite their seemingly altruistic origins, they are not above the occasional theft or hijacking. Acquiring faster or more rugged vehicles is seen as a service to the greater good - they can respond to emergencies easier. Attending one of their clinics can also be a pricey experience, though they are willing to waive fees on occasion, and are professional enough to treat first and demand later.
Ambulance Chasers are proof that not all gangs are simply out for themselves.