Interview with David Spiteri

March 28, 2015 in Member Interviews

Age: 291929606_10151969237015656_2079573896_n
Occupation: Senior Professional – Laboratory

For this edition’s team member interview, I sit down to have an entertaining chat with David Spiteri. First off I ask him to describe himself and his answer is ‘Aaargh!’, as he hates to answer such questions. Apparently his manager describes him as a ‘masochist’, since he is very hard on himself. David can be very modest as well, as he asks me whether he’s mentioned the fact he is good looking, tall and quite a charmer! Truth be told my fellow team member is a perfectionist who enjoys giving his best, even if excellence seems impossible at times. There is always room for improvement, and his perfectionism in a way stems from his idealism. He wants to make the world a better place, otherwise, what would be the point of volunteering?

Delving into the interview, I ask David whether his occupation ties with his voluntary work at the EFRU:

“No, my occupation is totally different. Nowadays, unfortunately, being part of a team and managing a laboratory most of the time means that I am attached to a desk in front of a laptop. Voluntary work at the EFRU not only allows me to participate in the much needed physical exercise; it allows me to learn new things in relation to rescue, first aid and other things.All this whilst meeting with some very good friends.”

I continue with one of my favourite questions, which usually tells me a lot about my team mates. In fact, I ask David which aspects he particularly enjoys from the various activities and training we conduct at the EFRU:

“Rescue training is one of my favourites, and (I hope David Cristina does not read this), the tougher it is, the more I enjoy it! During such training all of the team excels, and the feeling I get when I know that the person next to me has my back… is inexpiable.”

He is cheekily referring to David Cristina who conducts our basic rescue training sessions. David Cristina prepares structured basic rescue training sessions for all of the new recruits. David Cristina prepares structured training sessions for us on a weekly basis, giving us a good mix of physical exercise and technical knowledge. Every week we wait in anticipation to find out which new challenge awaits us!

Back to our interviewee,who I know contributes in another way to the EFRU on a regular basis, as one of our excellent first aid instructors. He tells me that he was always particularly interested in the biological sciences and human anatomy. First aid literally allows us to help people, sometimes we can even save lives! Whilst admitting it may sound slightly cliché, David confirms that being part of a team which is saving a life is truly rewarding. He describes his experience as an instructor at the EFRU in detail:

“Being one of the first aid instructors is truly rewarding. When the EFRU executive committee approached me to become one of the instructors, I must say that I hesitated, as I was not sure if I was competent enough for the task. After some convincing, I decided to take up the challenge. From that day onwards I never looked back. During my first aid units, I tend to give more detail than what is strictly required. This is because I enjoy teaching students about the general information underlying first aid concepts. Even though some ideas may be difficult at first, my biological background and the use of acronyms aid me in explaining to and interacting with the students. Till now I have always been satisfied with the outcome, even though I hope that eventually the EFRU will be able to find sponsors for the purchase of more training material such as AED trainers, interactive boards and also more first aid dummies.”

Whilst rounding up on the subject of first aid, I ask David whether he can describe any incidents where he acted as a first aider in everyday life. He tells me that ‘thankfully’, aside from EFRU duties he was never involved in a major incident that required him to give first aid. Evidently, since he works in a laboratory, it is common for people to have very minor injuries that require some attention.

Turning back to David’s overall experience at the EFRU, I try to find out which experience was the most exciting for him.

“One of the most exciting experiences at the EFRU must be while we are doing ladder work. To be completely honest I always had a fear of heights, even though I have never really mentioned this to anyone at EFRU, so shhh!“

Indeed, I can attest to the fact that through EFRU a number of members have conquered different fears. So much so that we start looking forward to activities we may once have thought twice before trying! Aside from such challenges, being a volunteer with EFRU enriches your personality with other attributes. In fact, David tells me that he has become assertive and somewhat of an extrovert through our teamwork. Also, he exclaims, he has learned quite a number of knots! These can come in quite handy in daily life.

As you know, we are always on the lookout for new volunteers. So my last question for David is whether he would recommend joining the EFRU to others. His answer speaks for itself, and echoes my sentiments exactly:

“Without hesitation! I normally get bored easily. In fact I have joined several groups, and tried out several voluntary organisations. The EFRU is different; it is something that cannot be explained in words, except by saying… It is my second family….”

Charlene Schembri
EFRU Rescuer