May 6, 2017 in General

The Emergency Fire & Rescue Unit (EFRU) of Malta is hosting a two-day activity which will see over 120 rescue volunteers from all over Europe, the United States, Serbia and Russia, training together with one aim – that of saving lives.

This is a project funded by Erasmus+ KA2 Strategic Partnerships funding strand and is led by the EFRU, a 40-strong rescue team that was set up locally but is managing to unite rescue volunteers from around Europe and beyond. Participating teams include Edelweiss (Italy), EPS (Portugal), ETSM (aka EP.OM.E.A., Greece), CCPVC (Cyprus) and Serve On (UK), as well as other volunteer rescue teams from Hungary, Spain, Greece, Italy, Portugal, France, Serbia, Russia, Austria and Germany which aim to join this network in the near future. The project has been going on for the past two years with its intellectual output being a Volunteer’s Rescue Manual as a basic standard for the principal rescue techniques for volunteers in the field of civil protection to attain interoperability among the teams.

Later on in the afternoon, the EFRU will be organizing another event at Ġnien il-Kunsill tal- Ewropa, Gżira where the team will be joined by all its foreign counterparts forming part of this incredible association. The aim of this evening event is to celebrate the volunteer and to show members of the public, together with other VIPs that have been invited, the purpose behind the work that the EFRU is doing. Some of the invitees are H.E. The President of Malta, Hon. Prime Minister of Malta Dr Joseph Muscat, Hon. Minister Evarist Bartolo, Hon. Minister Carmelo Abela, Dr. Simon Busuttil and Dr. Beppe Fenech Adami. This afternoon / evening event is funded by the Small Initiatives Support Scheme as managed by the Malta Council for the Volunteer Sector and is supported by the Gżira Local Council, Vibe FM, Elmo Insurance, Firetech Ltd, OK Medical and Petzl Malta.

On Saturday 13th May, then, the rescue manual which has been developed by this network of volunteers led by the EFRU will be officially launched during a full day conference, entitled The Volunteer Rescuer – A Unified Approach, at Fort St. Angelo in Birgu. Apart from the rescue manual, a number of keynote speeches shall cover various subjects of interest, including the role of the volunteer in the aftermath of terrorist attacks, psychological aspects in rescue volunteering, team work, interoperability, harmonization and standardization of techniques.

Keith Borg
Deputy Director