Just over 700 persons were assisted by Malta Red Cross lifeguards while another 900 were given help by the Malta Red Cross ambulance service team in 2015.
Although the vast majority of assistance required was that of basic first aid, unfortunately other incidents were more serious, with some of them being life threatening.
Last year, Malta Red Cross provided First Aid Services during 503 events and Water Rescue and Lifeguarding Services in 8 venues, with a total exceeding 10,000 man hours. The national society also provided First Aid Education services, at different levels to 4,000 people.
Moreover, in the past 12 months Malta Red Cross also assisted 870 vulnerable individuals in restoring and maintaining family links or / and with the provision of psychological support.
Paulette Fenech, Director General of Malta Red Cross said that the majority of accidents could have been avoided with some attention, although sometimes it’s also a matter of chance, or rather bad luck.
“Of course no one plans to be involved in an accident, but in most cases, exercising caution may prevent someone from getting injured. Examples range from reading and respecting rules at beaches to avoiding that extra alcoholic drink. Event organisers should also make sure that appropriate first aid services are available during their event” said Ms. Fenech.
Edward Gruppetta, President of the Malta Red Cross Society said that it is important for any business, office or organisation to have it’s own, professionally trained in-house first aiders. “Knowledge about the administration of proper first aid techniques might literally save a life. Unfortunately we have had instances, even in 2015, when lives might have been saved if those present knew basic first aid. However there were of course occasions were lives were saved by members of the general public who were able to administer first aid. This is why we keep insisting that everyone should learn basic first aid techniques.”
From an operational point of view, the Malta Red Cross continuously strives to be prepared to act in cases of emergencies. “We have ambulances, RHIBS (Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat), a jet ski, a mobile operational centre and clinic, trucks and a national disaster hub. We provide extensive training to our volunteers, who eventually are assigned duties during events or activities throughout the year. Being a Red Cross volunteer also means being prepared to assist people which many times isn’t just about first aid, but also about being able to handle different situations, sometimes emotionally challenging, with a professional but decisive attitude. This can only be achieved by appropriate training throughout the year” said Eng. Robert Brincau, Director of Operations.
The Malta Red Cross is appealing to all those interested in volunteering with the Society to visit the official Facebook page on www.facebook.com/maltaredcross or contact their offices on the following email firstname.lastname@example.org