Over 120 rescue volunteers meeting in Malta this weekend
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This coming weekend over 120 rescue volunteers from all over Europe, the United States, Serbia and Russia will be in Malta, training together with one aim – that of saving lives.
The Emergency Fire & Rescue Unit (EFRU) of Malta is hosting the two-day activity. 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 is 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.
It has been ongoing 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.
On Friday, the 12th of May, there will be a rescue simulation at Hal-Farh, Burmarrad, Mellieha and on Saturday, the 13th, a Conference on Rescue Volunteers – A Unified Approach.
The EFRU will be organising another event later in the afternoon at Gnien il-Kunsill tal- Ewropa, Gzira where the team will be joined by all its foreign counterparts forming part of this incredible association.
The aim of this 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 President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, Prime Minister Dr Joseph Muscat, Minister Evarist Bartolo, Minister Carmelo Abela, Dr. Simon Busuttil and Dr. Beppe Fenech Adami.
The EFRU said that the 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 Gzira Local Council, Vibe FM, Elmo Insurance, Firetech Ltd, OK Medical and Petzl Malta.
Then on Saturday 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.
There will also be 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, harmonisation and standardisation of techniques.