The Order of Malta celebrates 70 years of The Ambulance Corps in Limerick

Order of Malta celebrates 70 years

The Order of Malta celebrates 70 years of their Ambulance Corps in existence serving the people of Limerick City and County this year.

The Order of Malta celebrates 70 years of The Ambulance Corps in Limerick

This year of 2018, The Order of Malta celebrates 70 years of their Ambulance Corps services for decades for Limerick and her citizens. As The Order of Malta celebrates 70 years they have lots of fantastic events lined up throughout the duration of 2018 celebrating this incredible milestone.

As part of Order of Malta Ireland, the Limerick Unit is part of an Ambulance Corps which is one of the largest voluntary providers of first aid, ambulance and community care services in Ireland. With the first Ambulance Corp unit established in Galway in 1938, the Ambulance Corps has developed into an organization of more than 3000 members across more than 80 units throughout communities on the island of Ireland.

The Limerick Unit being the largest unit in the Mid-West region contributes to over 160,000 volunteer hours given nationally by members of the Ambulance Corps. In 2015 over 5,800 people were treated by its members with 515 of these transported to hospital for further care. Based out of their premises on Davis Street the Limerick Units fleet of emergency vehicles supplements the overall fleet available nationwide, which is the largest fleet in the voluntary ambulance sector.

Part of the Limerick City Major Emergency plan, volunteers from the Limerick Unit have previously assisted in the evacuation of St Mary’s Park during times of flooding and more recently were placed on standby during Storm Ophelia.

It was first established back in 1113 to provide comfort and assistance to Christian pilgrims visiting the Holy Land. The Sovereign Military Hospitallar Order of St John of Jerusalem, to give the Order of Malta its full title, first arrived in Ireland in 1174 with it forming a strong presence in the Mid-West at Hospital Co Limerick.

Following the dissolution of the Order in both England and Ireland in 1540 the Irish Association was re-established in 1934 which lead to the foundation of its main charitable project, the Order of Malta Ambulance Corps.  Since 1948 the Order of Malta Ambulance Corps has maintained a well-known presence in Limerick.

Whilst first and foremost a voluntary ambulance service the Limerick Unit along with their colleagues across the country volunteer at various events at both a local and national level.  As part of the framework of the Pre-hospital Emergency Care Council the Limerick Unit trains its members from the level of First Aid Responder, through Emergency First Responder up to the registered practitioner level of Emergency Medical Technician.

With strong links to communities across Limerick City volunteers from the Ambulance Corps regularly provide community care services such as transport for the elderly and sick to efforts on a more national scale such as travelling to Knock and Lourdes and indeed providing volunteers to international youth camps. The youth section in the Ambulance Corps known as the Cadets provide first aid training and activities. The Cadets cater to children aged between 10 and 16 and is run by the senior members of the organization. Through the Cadets children are equipped with valuable first aid and home nursing skills and encourages participation in the community.

As Order of Malta celebrates 70 years throughout 2018, volunteers from the Ambulance Corps will be a common sight across Limerick with over 15 individual events occurring throughout the year from participating in Pay it Forward on Bedford Row in March to a guided history tour of locations in Limerick associated with the Order in July. In May, The Order of Malta Ambulance Corps will be holding Mass and Inspection in St John’s Cathedral on May 27th.

In September 14-16th, the City of Limerick will host the Ambulance Corps National Competitions in which teams of medics from units across the country will participate in live emergency simulations and scenarios openly across the city for all to witness.  In previous years these scenarios have involved simulated drowning and BBQ explosions are city centre Parks. With the focus of the competitions being the Strand hotel any scenario is possible within the city.  These National competitions are hugely significant as The Order of Malta celebrates 70 years in Limerick.

Officer in Charge of the Limerick Unit Adj. Bryan Crosby admits ‘I may be slightly biased in hoping for a home win and that the Limerick unit can reclaim its light rescue trophy it won in 2016 but we are looking forward to welcoming all our colleagues to Limerick for what always promises to be a great weekend’.

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