2013 A brief overview

March 30, 2014 in General

The year 2013 was a very successful year for the Emergency, Fire and Rescue Unit (EFRU).  It was a year to reap the harvest of months of work and lots of dedication. One of the greatest achievements happened in the first quarter of the year, when the EFRU began to deliver Basic First Aid courses to the public, as well as Advanced First Aid courses to its members.  The response to such courses has so far been extremely positive, with commendation given for the way they are delivered, in particular the inclusion of workshops to solidify the theoretical aspect of First Aid.

April 2013

It has now become an annual event for the EFRU to participate in the Puttinu Football marathon. As in the past years, the EFRU provided a comprehensive service with both First Aid and Fire teams in attendance throughout the marathon that lasted more than 60 hours. Whilst the first aiders were kept quite busy tending to the expected minor injuries, the Fire team were thankful that no incidents transpired that required intervention.

May 2013

Another notable and successful event was the annual EFRU cycling tour, which was held in May. A good number of cyclists attended the event alongside the EFRU cyclists, with the majority being regular participants who return year after year to support the EFRU.  A team of EFRU volunteers accompanied the cyclists along the route, providing snacks, water, First Aid and encouragement.  The team was composed of a doctor, a number of advanced first aiders and several experienced rescuers who distributed their resources into three teams to ensure maximum coverage.  Once again, the EFRU provided peace of mind to all participants, as well as ensuring the tour was a memorable experience.

June 2013

June brought along a popular annual mass event – the Isle of MTV.  The Emergency, Fire and Rescue Unit were asked to assist the Civil Protection Department with teams of first aiders, rescuers and fire fighters, along with the EFRU Fire Truck.  The EFRU tended to a number of minor First Aid requirements throughout the event, but luckily there were no major incidents.

Third Quarter 2013

In the third quarter of the year, some of our members participated in a number of seminars and talks offered by the Malta Council for the Voluntary Sector, where EFRU members had the opportunity to discuss and explore various topics of interest for the benefit of organisational growth, as well as personal growth.

In September, the EFRU was busy with another Fundraising sport event (cycling, walking, running, kayaking and swimming) – the Nivea 5×5 Challenge – organised by the Ladybird Foundation, who asked for first aid assistance during the cycling and walking parts of their event. Here again, the members of the Emergency, Fire and Rescue Unit were more than enthusiastic to help out, particularly since the event was being held for such a good cause.

October 2013

Several EFRU members travelled to Athens, where they participated in a European Search and Rescue training programme.  Various countries from around the European Union banded together to work on simulations of natural, large-scale disasters. The EFRU team had the opportunity to work alongside other organisations, exchanging views and experiences, as well as knowledge and differing techniques.  Such a programme will ultimately help the organisation grow and to become ever more proficient in any real emergency situation.

Notte bianca

Also in October, the EFRU were asked to provide First Aid and Fire backup at the Notte Bianca event in Valletta.  The EFRU were assigned several key areas to cover, and ensured that they provided maximum coverage through several teams placed in fixed areas as well as two roaming teams.

TV Appearances & Radio Programmes

Throughout the year, the EFRU were invited to participate in a number of television and radio programs.  Members of the EFRU appeared on shows such as “Bejn il-Hbieb”, and featured on various radio stations, where they shared their experiences with the audience and provided an overview of the work carried out by the EFRU.

During other programs, such as “Venere”, the EFRU team was asked to assist by setting up an abseiling event and ensure the safety of all concerned during the photoshoot.

Other News

 In 2013, the EFRU received a mess van, bought through funds donated by the Malta Community Chest Fund (Istrina 2012).  The van will be highly beneficial and can be used as a base during training exercises, duties, and any emergency situations that may arise.

Whilst 2013 was filled with activities, during those brief “quiet” times, the Executive Committee worked on planning the way forward for 2014, including the planning of training exercises and programmes for the unit.  So far, 2014 looks to be a very promising year.

Sylvana Cremona

EFRU Rescuer