First mobile treatment centre for Malta
St John Ambulance Malta has been presented
with a mobile treatment centre
dedicated to the memory of a popular young
volunteer who died while returning from a first aid duty
Vital first aid for islanders
The unique gift, which will be used to provide
vital first aid to islanders and tourists, is the
result of a joint effort by NHS
Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) and London St John Ambulance.
The centre is a former blood donor unit taken
out of service by NHSBT, who joined forces with London St John
Ambulance volunteers to turn it into a fully equipped, mobile
first aid unit.
It’s the first treatment centre of its kind on
the island of Malta, where the ancient Order of St John
established its headquarters in 1530.
In memory of a much loved volunteer
It was formally inaugurated this month by the
President of Malta, George Abela. The unit is
dedicated to London St John Ambulance volunteer George
Bairstow who died in a road accident when he was returning
from delivering first aid at a fireworks display in Lewes, Sussex
on 6 November 2013.
The treatment centre was fitted out and
stocked with help from several St John Ambulance regions. It
was measured for St John Ambulance livery in Hull then driven
through the night by two volunteers to make it to Southampton Port
in time to meet the Grimaldi Lines cargo boat which shipped it to
Malta free of charge.
Jon Knight, President of St John Ambulance
Malta, worked with London St John Ambulance and NHSBT to
ensure the old blood donor unit was given a new lease of life and
put to good use on the island.
It will be used to provide first aid at public
celebrations and sporting events and will be driven around the
island as a mobile health clinic, offering blood pressure checks
and general health advice. Its handbook contains details about
George whose name is painted on both doors.
Jon said: ‘This unit marks a real
step-change in the way first aid is provided in Malta. It
will provide shelter from the heat and humidity, allowing Malta St
John Ambulance volunteers to treat tourists and locals alike
in a much healthier environment, which will aid a
‘It wouldn’t have been possible without the
fantastic support of St John Ambulance in the UK, and in
particular London region, whose volunteers gave up their spare time
to help their colleagues 1,300 miles away.’