Interview: Duncan Baldacchino

December 7, 2015 in Member Interviews

duncanWherever the action is – be it training, an event that the Unit is covering, or simply some well-deserved rest and relaxation – Duncan Baldacchino can usually be found in the thick of it.  Easy to be around and thoroughly integrated into the team, Duncan is often among the first to jump in and lend a hand.  Here’s a little insight into this highly active team member…

 

If you were to compare yourself to an animal, what would you choose and why?

It really depends on the situation, but since my star sign is “Taurus”, I’ll compare myself to a bull – because when life gets tough, I lower my head and keep on charging through.

 

What’s your typical day like?

I usually get up at 5.45am, help my wife with getting the kids ready, take my daughter to school and then head off to work, followed by a part-time job.  For the last four years (since I joined in September 2011), I’ve also attended weekly training sessions with the EFRU.  Although I have a very tight schedule, I try to attend as many of the EFRU duties as possible.

 

How do you manage to juggle family life, two jobs and attending the EFRU?

Behind every great man, there is always a great woman.  My wife is extremely supportive of me in whatever I do.

 

Do you have any time left for hobbies?

Not really.  However my New Year’s resolution for 2016 will be to start cycling again, at least once a week.

 

Who is your prime mover/inspiration?

That is definitely my father.  He is a great man with a heart of gold.

 

What lifts you up, and what brings you down in life?

I take great satisfaction and enjoyment from what I do, and that lifts me up.  Making mistakes is what brings me down, but I always try to learn from them.

 

What got you interested in the EFRU?

My wife met a member of the EFRU at her place of work and got to know about the Unit from them.  She then convinced me that the Unit was ideal for me (and, as usual, she was right!).

 

Describe your experience within the Unit in three words.

Family.  Fun.  Fire.

The EFRU members are more than just colleagues and friends.  They’re my family away from home.  Fun is definitely an integral part of the experience, and fighting fire is something I’m extremely interested in.

Above all, at EFRU, I enjoy learning and developing new skills and techniques.

 

What’s your favourite discipline and why?

Rope work (such as High Angle Rescue).  There’s something about the discipline that attracts me and I’d like to learn more.

 

What’s your most memorable experience in the Unit so far?

Without a doubt, it has to be when we helped to extinguish the fire that broke out on the Foster Clark Products Limited premises in San Gwann.

 

What advice would you give someone who’s considering joining the EFRU?

Go for it!  It will be a great addition to your life.  There is no better feeling than to help others without expecting anything in return.  However, before joining, you do need to ask yourself if you can spare the time to at least attend training once a week.  Joining the EFRU is a bonus and definite benefit to your life.  The family environment exceeded all my expectations, particularly as we not only help others, but we also help and support each other in personal matters.

 

In what ways have you seen the Unit evolve along the years?

Since joining, the EFRU has emerged both locally and internationally.  EVOLSAR ( The European Association of Civil Protection Volunteer Teams) was also founded, which is a huge step forward.  I was lucky enough to be present to see all of this happening.

 

Do you have any future aspirations?  Both in your personal life and within the EFRU?

My main objective is to create a better balance between work, family and the EFRU commitments.  I’d also like to attend courses offered by the International Rope Access Trade Association (IRATA) and further my skills and qualifications.

 

Deborah Cefai & Miriam Cristina
EFRU Rescuers