Following on from 18 months of meetings, training and fundraising, October 30, 2012 saw the official launch of the Longford unit of the Order of Malta Ambulance Corps.
The inauguration of the new unit took place in the Chapel at Laurel Lodge Nursing Home and was attended by Commander Peadar Ward, Director of the Order of Malta Ambulance Corps and Dr Colm Brady, Vice President of the Irish Association. Also present, were members of the new unit accompanied by their family and friends, staff and management of Laurel Lodge as well as invited guests from the local community.
“The evening started with a Mass celebrated by Father Brendan O’Sullivan and that was subsequently followed by speeches from the Director, Vice President and Sgt Karen Nolan, who was appointed Officer in Charge of the new unit,” a spokesperson added. “Fr Brendan O’Sullivan then blessed the unit’s new ambulance, which will be housed by Laurel Lodge. Laurel Lodge will also provide a base for the local Order of Malta Ambulance Corps’ members to hold meetings and run training courses.”
The Order of Malta has a long history of service to local communities. It was established in 1938 and its first unit in Galway provided First Aid, Ambulance and Casualty Services in Connaught. Today the Order of Malta is a nationally based organisation, established in unit areas and structured into eleven regions. It has a fleet of over 165 vehicles and ambulances and provides first aid and ambulance and emergency care services in a number of cities and major towns throughout the country.
“Order of Malta provides many services including transport for people with disabilities and transporting older people to hospitals, day care centres, church services and social functions,” the spokesperson added further. “It also provides ambulance and first aid services at race courses, sporting events, concerts and festivals around the country.”
The Order of Malta Ambulance Corps operates entirely by volunteers and because each unit raises funds locally, it is self-financing. To this end, the Longford unit’s next goal will be to commence a fundraising campaign in order to purchase life-saving equipment for the new ambulance to include an AED and a cardiac patient monitor. “The fundraising, along with ambulance/first aid duties and the provision of hospital transport to elderly members of the community, will keep all the new members busy in the coming months,” the spokesperson concluded. To join the Order of Malta, or avail of its services locally, email firstname.lastname@example.org.