Maltese earthquake simulation draws volunteers from eight EU countries
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Maltese earthquake simulation draws volunteers from eight EU countries

14 volunteer organisations took part in the 24-hour exercise

Volunteers from 14 European volunteer civil protection teams took part in a 24-hour simulation exercise modelled on the eventuality of a Maltese earthquake.

The 70 volunteers wrapped up the Simulex19 simulation, which was organised by the Emergency Fire and Rescue Unit, on Sunday morning.

Maltese and foreign rescuers worked together to rescue victims from different locations.

By the end of the exercise, 25 victims had been identified and rescued successfully using urban search and rescue and rope rescue techniques. 

Through this simulation exercise, member teams will be able to support the Maltese authorities in case of a local disaster.

All participating teams, hailing from Malta, Italy, Portugal, UK, Greece, Cyprus, Hungary and France are members of the European Association of Civil Protection Volunteer Teams – of which EFRU is a founder member.

The association aims to have a European group of volunteer teams that train together in various civil protection disciplines, thus being able to deploy as a single group to assist fellow members of the organisation in the event of a major disaster as necessary.

It is currently made up of 15 member teams from 10 countries. In spite of speaking different languages, the volunteer rescuers work together, combining their efforts in effective teamwork to refine their skills to be able to assist whenever and wherever they are needed.

Simulex19 is one of the activities of a project funded by the Malta Community Chest Fund Foundation focusing on volunteer rescue team preparedness in emergency response.

The teams made use of rapid deployment tents for incident command which also doubled up as sleeping and mess quarters, increasing the efficiency of local response teams.

At the end of the exercise, certificates were handed to all participants by Home Affairs Minister Michael Farrugia.

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