Rescue unit EFRU benefits from €159,650 in ERASMUS+ funds through MEUSAC assistance

The Emergency & Fire Rescue Unit (EFRU) – a non-governmental voluntary organisation – has benefited from €159,650 in ERASMUS+ KA2 Strategic Partnership in the field of Adult Education Project funds through MEUSAC assistance to help create a Volunteer Rescue Operations Manual with the aim of its volunteers to acquire new skills along with other similar European organisations.

The working methods devised in the manual focus on safety and practicality, in line with other European rescue units with the aim of having one common working method.

During a closing ceremony held yesterday, certificates were presented to participants of the project – ‘Synergising European Volunteer Rescue Teams’ – by Minister for Social Dialogue, Consumer Affairs and Civil Liberties Helena Dalli, who is also responsible for the Malta-EU Steering Action Committee (MEUSAC).

Minister Dalli said that the government is supporting NGOs in various ways whilst pointing out that voluntary organisations have been given the opportunity to use NGO hubs in Valletta and Qawra for meetings and activities. She stated that another hub is to open in the south of Malta soon.

“The least we can do is help voluntary organisations such as EFRU who, in turn, can help others who require their assistance. I truly appreciate the work of EFRU and other similar organisations who deal with life and death situations.

I am happy to be in a room full of selfless and altruistic people who give so much of their free time to help others.” Dr Dalli told those present.

Project objective

Europe has a number of rescue teams which provide assistance to the public in emergency cases. These rescue organisations work on a voluntary basis and provide training to their volunteers to equip them with the necessary knowledge of how to act in a particular situation.

Currently, the working methods that are used by volunteers during these rescue operations is not harmonised. Volunteers coming from one organisation may handle an emergency situation differently from the volunteers of another European rescue organisation, thus creating problems when organisations would need to mobilise their volunteers in order to meet the increasing demands for assistance.

Ultimately, by adopting one common system of how volunteers should tackle a situation, the participating organisations would be in a position to mobilise their volunteers according to the needs.

The participants for this project include applicant Maltese organisation EFRU together with six partners from Italy, Portugal, Greece, UK and Cyprus. The project also comprises simulation exercises, bringing together volunteers from all over Europe to provide assistance as happens in real-life stituations that may arise.

It is estimated that between 2013 and 2015, MEUSAC assisted NGOs to implement 89 projects, benefiting from a total of €2,154,834 in EU funds.

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