Interview: Sandro Camilleri

December 4, 2012 in Newsletters

Name: Alexander (Sandro) Camilleri


Position within EFRU: Senior Manager i/c Operations

Current Job: Businessman

Hobbies: Diving, Collecting Maltese Memorabilia, Off-roading, Rescue Work & Fire Fighting

On interviewing Sandro, he described himself as a person who is “adventurous, helpful, mature and considerate to others’ needs”.

Sandro started volunteering at the age of 15. It all began when he joined the ‘Island Headquarters Venture Unit’ as a Scout, and later on joined the Birkirkara Scout Group, where he was promoted to Venture Scout Leader. After a few years, Sandro decided that “the things I love doing might as well be used for the benefit of helping others”. To this end, Sandro joined the St. John Rescue Corps where he soon became one of the pioneers in building this organisation. After a while, he was promoted to Motor Transport Officer, Fort Commandant and eventually Staff Officer Operations i/c Diving.

In 2006, Sandro and four others, with similar passion and dedication, set up a new NGO – the Emergency Fire and Rescue Unit.

The passion of adventure and the joy of volunteering run in Sandro’s blood, with all his family members having belonged to the Scout movement at some point. In addition, his father was the Scouts’ Chief Commissioner, which meant that Sandro was greatly encouraged to be part of a voluntary organisation.

Sandro has been involved in many emergent situations, some of which have left a lasting memory. These include his intervention in helping recover two out of the nine fatalities that resulted from the gas explosion aboard the oil tanker Um El Faroud on the 3rd February 1995; his intervention to recover victims from various fireworks factories explosions around Malta, including the rescue of the only survivor of the Gharghur Fireworks Factory explosion; and also assisting Civil Protection personnel to recover the body of a man who fell from a water reservoir.

Sandro also assists the CPD Divers’s section in various water related tragedies.

Sandro is proud of how far the E.F.R.U. has developed and also to be part of this growing family. He is particularly happy with its members who, as Sandro describes them, “are good in what they do and show great dedication in their work”. He sees EFRU as one of the leading NGO’s in the near future with regards to rescue.

As a father of three and grandfather of two, Sandro succeeds in creating a balance between his work, volunteer work and family. His family plays an important part in his life, with his most memorable experiences being the births of his three children.

Finding time for everything is always a challenge. Sandro explains that, as Managing Director of his own company, his self-employed status helps him to be flexible and to find time for every important role in his life, without compromising on any aspect.

All parents should encourage their children to join and participate in voluntary organisations, such as scouting groups. Aside from the social aspect, such groups teach its members important concepts that apply to all aspects of life. Sandro’s advice to those parents whose children are interested in joining some kind of activity or NGO that involves an element of adventure and risks or dangers, is that it is healthy to allow children to choose their own paths to follow in life. Above all, he believes in the individual destiny of each person.

Svetlana Bugeja
EFRU First Aider