Community involvement is all about encouraging residents to work together to improve community needs and pool local resources by joining, for example, voluntary emergency service organisations.
The Civil Protection Department holds a list of a number of volunteers who offer their support services to the same Department in complex and large scale emergencies. These volunteers are assigned to different tasks ranging from Urban Search and Rescue to fire fighting and diving operations. Various training opportunities are given to these individuals to develop their emergency response skills jointly with the Department’s full-time employees.
The Emergency Fire & Rescue Unit (EFRU), the St. John Rescue Corps and the Gozo-based Emergency Response and Rescue Corps (ERCC) were set up to provide emergency rescue services as a back-up in case of national catastrophes such as earthquakes, major disasters, airplane crashes and floods. Their members specialise in a number of life-saving techniques, from basic and advanced rescue, to fire-fighting, rescue diving and first aid.
The Emergency Volunteers Reserve Force (EVRF) is similar to the above entities, and is made up of male and female part-time soldiers who assist the Armed Forces of Malta’s Regular Force in emergencies. Extensive training is provided, with EVRF soldiers contributing to civil emergency duties, key point security duties, tactical patrolling and surveillance and manning of the light anti-aircraft gun.
Community involvement also means being prepared in an emergency. A first aid course is precisely designed to help you develop a number of skills that you will need in order to assist in emergency situations. Both St John Ambulance and Red Cross Malta offer these courses on a regular basis. Moreover, they are always ready to provide logistical support to the emergency service providers during large scale emergencies and humanitarian relief operations.