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31 December 2009


Malta Red Cross train Armed Forces personnel

A 10-day Combat Lifesaver course for Armed Forces of Malta personnel was recently conducted by Malta Red Cross instructor staff at Lyster Barracks in Hal Far.

The Malta Red Cross staff were assisted by previously qualified AFM personnel during this pre-hospital care course, which tackles combat-medicine out in the field of various military deployments and scenarios. AFM personnel from across three of its regiments attended this course's edition, which meets the US Army's own NATO– IS0871 course requirement standards.

This course differs from its civilian equivalent, as it is aimed at developing rescue and evacuation techniques in combat scenarios of casualties under enemy fire, with the entailed duress.

During the tuition provided and the field exercises conducted, the participants learnt how to deal with the most severe or deadly injuries of the modern battle field. This tuition covered military triage, needle chest decompression, blast and gun shot trauma, use of haemostatic injuries, medical evacuations (MEDEVACs ), chest and abdominal trauma, improvised rescue techniques, shock and use of Intravenous (IVs) aids.

Apart from theoretical and practical sessions , which covered medical and tactical aspects , a number of different scenarios and simulations were conducted daily. These saw the participants having to deal with simulated situations which included casualty recovery whilst in combat zones, or during close quarter combat scenarios and whilst under fire.

Throughout the course, the international Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC ) 2009 's standards and guidelines were used to assess the AFM personnel in their medical and tactical skills. Leading the Malta Red Cross's instructor team was their Gozo Branch's master instructor Mr. Etiennne Micallef, assisted by the AFM's own Bombardier Audrick Plum, Bombardier Antionne Scerri and Sergeant Roderick Zammit . The course instructors commended with the high level of proficiency of the AFM students, which culminated with two field exercises which covered both daylight and night time hours of the day .

During a certificate awarding ceremony presided by AFM Commander, Brigadier Carmel Vassallo, held at Lyster Barracks in Hal Far, the President of the Malta Red Cross Society - Professor Frederick Fenech, presented first aid trauma equipment for use by the AFM's Air Wing rescuers during their flight missions.

  AFM Activity: Training



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25 December 2009



Four Ukrainian crewmen, from onboard a Belize-registered vessel, were hospitalised yesterday afternoon after they inhalled fumes whilst working in the ship's ballast tanks.

Late yesterday afternoon, at 16.05hrs the Armed Forces of Malta's Operations' Centre at Luqa Barracks was alerted by the Marsaxlokk Port Control to a developing situation in a position 2 nautical miles East of L-Ahrax tal-Mellieha.

The Malta Maritime Authority's station had received word from the MV 'Etel', a Ro-Ro vessel, that whilst located in a bunkering area, their four crewmen fell ill after inhaling fumes which initially left them unconscious and breathing with difficulty.

Given the seriousness of the predicament in hand, the AFM mobilised an Air Wing Alouette-III rescue-helicopter as well as a Maritime Squadron Melita rescue-launch, to the ship's area.

An Air Wing rescuer was winch-hoisted down onto the MV 'Ethel' to assess the situation onboard, and found all four casualties had luckily regained consciousness, but still rather we a k and requiring further medical treatment.

With severe windy and rough sea weather in the area, several attempts to evacuate the four crewmen were made, b efore it was decided to have them instead transferred to the AFM's Melita rescue-launch.

By 17.43hrs, all four crewmen were safely transferred and conveyed to an awaiting Mater Dei Hospital ambulance and medical staff, purposely dispatched to Bugibba.

  Health-Related: Marine



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08 December 2009



A 51-year old Filippino ship's cook was earlier this morning urgently medically evacuated by an Armed Forces of Malta rescue-helicopter from onboard a motor tanker to hospital.

Mr. Crescenciano Elaba, who is serving onboard the UK-registered vessel ''MT. ONDINA'', was suffering from a severe chest pain before being airlifted by an AFM Air Wing Alouette helicopter to Mater Dei Hospital. The call for evacuation was received by the AFM's Rescue and Co-ordination Centre at Luqa Barracks this morning from the ship's local agent, as it was steaming in a position 26 nautical miles (NM) east of Grand Harbour, Valletta.

The motor tanker was instructed to approach Maltese shores, and the casualty was evacuated from some 19 NM off Delimara Point. The vessel continued its voyage to France.

  Health-Related: Marine



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08 December 2009



A number of drug seizures were last night effected by Armed Forces of Malta soldiers of 'C' (Special Duties) Company from 1 Regiment AFM. Five individuals were detained during vehicle checkpoints mounted by the soldiers in the central part of the island.

A 20-year old youth was found in possesion of four blocks of cocaine after he refused to stop his vehicle when ordered to do so, which obliged the use of a vehicle-stopping nail-belt by the checkpoint operators. Subsequently, a 29-year old man from Msida was found with an expired vehicle licence and insurance policy.

Later, a 25-year old man from Balzan was also stopped and found in possesion of cannabis resin blocks. A Fgura 24-year old was found in possesion of ectasy and a 29-year old from Sliema was found in possession of two sachets of cociane.

All arrested individuals were handed over to local district police and the drug-squad personnel, for further investigations.