Current Affairs
Two volunteers administered First Aid in fatal accident despite being injured themselves

The Red Cross and Mater Dei have honoured two Red Cross volunteers who five months ago, despite being themselves injured in the same traffic accident, administered First Aid to the other people who were hurt in the crash between a Red Cross ambulance and a car driven by a British man. In the accident two people lost their lives, while the British driver is still in a coma.

Despite the serious injuries they sustained in the accident which occurred at Selmun hill, the two volunteers,  Rita Fenech and Ignazio Pullara, were the first to administer treatment to the other people involved in the traffic accident.

Their sense of duty at this crucial moment was recognized by the Red Cross Society which awarded them with the Above and Beyond the Call of Duty Award.

Ignazio Pullara said, “I would like to share this award with all my colleagues from the Red Cross, because each and every one of us would have done the same thing which Rita and I did, without thinking twice.”

The fatal accident occurred on 12 August at 1am in the morning. Ignazio Pullara was driving the ambulance which was taking Giovanna Galea, aged 89, to the Home for the Elderly in Mellieha, when a car driven by a British man allegedly went over to the other side of the road and crashed into the ambulance.

On impact, Nick Brennan, a British national, aged 29, who was a passenger in the car, died on the spot.  The elderly woman in the ambulance died the next day. In the car with Brennan, there were three other young people, including the driver who, five months later, is still in a coma in a British hospital as a result of an internal hemorrhage and grievous injuries sustained to his spleen.

Ignazio says that what happened that day was a tragedy he will never forget.

“I got out of the ambulance. At that point I did not realise I had been injured. I asked my colleague how she was. I verified that she was OK, although it was dark and I could not see properly, and then I went to see what had happened to the people in the other car,” said Ignazio.

Robert Brincau, the Director of Operations for the Red Cross said that what Rita and Ignazio did shows their dedication.

“They did not bother with the fact that they too had been injured and traumatized, but their first thought was to get out of the ambulance and assist those who were also injured like them,” said Mr Brincau.

He added the that Red Cross Society is active in providing medical assistance during mass events and at various beaches throughout the summer.

Robert Brincau said “On 1 January we were also recognised as representatives of the International Life Saving Federation, the entity which oversees the services on all European beaches.”

He said that last summer, volunteers who work with the Society assisted around 5000 people. In all there are 200 volunteers who give up their free time to help the Red Cross Society.