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Order of Malta Ambulance Corps

Order of Malta Ambulance Corps
Motto Tutio Fidei et Obsequium Pauperum
(Latin "for the protection of the Faith and in the service of the poor")
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Type Charitable organisation
Headquarters Saint John House, 32 Clyde Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4
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Sir Adrian FitzGerald KM, 6th Baronet Valentia, 24th Knight of Kerry.
Key people
Ambulance Corps National Director Commander Aidan O'Brien D.M.
Affiliations Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta
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Formerly called
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The Order of Malta Ambulance Corps is a voluntary ambulance and first aid organisation operating in Ireland. The Order of Malta is engaged in teaching first aid, providing ambulance cover at large events, patient transport, community and nursing services. The Order of Malta has 4,000 volunteers throughout the Island of Ireland.[1] The ambulance corps is administered by the Order of Malta.

Senior Members

The National Director of the Order of Malta Ambulance Corps is Comdr. Aidan O Brien, KM. In common with all members of the Ambulance Corps, Aidan is a volunteer. He is assisted by a Deputy Director, Comdr. John Wright KM, and Assistant Directors, Asst Comdr. John Walsh DM, Comdr. John Medley KM, Asst Cmdr Kevin Moore KM, Asst. Comdr. Brian Coote, Asst. Comdr Ray Carney, Chief Youth Officer Asst. Comdr. Catherine Purcell, Chief Nursing Officer Lieut. David Wallace, Chaplain Andrew O'Sullivan, a Chief Medical Officer Dr. Diarmuid Murray, and a staff with responsibility for different areas of ambulance corps work.

The President of the Irish Association of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta Sir Adrian FitzGerald KM, 6th Baronet, 24th Knight of Kerry.[2]


The first unit of the Order of Malta Ambulance Corps began in 1937, when Professor Conor O'Malley, a Galway Doctor was asked by the Marquis McSweeney, the then Chancellor of the Irish Association to recruit members to form an Ambulance Corps, aimed initially for Connaught only.

Thirteen men were recruited by Professor O'Malley: six sixth year students from St. Josephs College "the Bish", Secondary School; four members from C.Y.M.S., Galway ; two Scout Masters; and one "lay" member. These thirteen members were the founder members of the ambulance corps in Galway .

The new recruits were enrolled on a series of First Aid lectures, given by Professor O'Malley in the X-Ray Department of the Central Hospital . The bandaging was taught by Theatre Sister Mary Shaughnessy. Examinations in First Aid were held in January 1938, and all were successful. In February 1938 First Aid services were requested for a National League match in Castlebar. The duties were allocated in Alphabetical Order- "Burke" and "Coogan" were first on duty.

The first Officer in Charge of the Galway Unit was Sgt. Timothy Murphy. A second unit was set up in 1939 in Kilkenny. Since then the Corps has grown in strength providing first aid cover for many major sporting and cultural events and concerts.

Modern Ambulance Corps

File:Order of Malta Ambulance Corps, Ireland.JPG
Headquarters at Clyde Road, Dublin

The ambulance corps is a national organisation with 5,346[3] members involved in 86 units across the Island of Ireland. For administration purposes, the country is divided into regions which are managed by regional directors. Each region consists of a number of units which deliver services at local level. The organisation operates over 165 ambulances, mobile accident and emergency suites, support vehicles, medical bikes and command centres.[4]

The organisations headquarters are located in St John's House Clyde Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4. Within the building there are modern lecture halls for training and a command and control centre to coordinate vehicles and personnel in the event of major incidents.

Through their youth section Order of Malta Cadets for children aged 10-16 years, cadets are trained in basic life saving skills: first aid, CPR and assisting with activities of daily living. The organisation provides a full program of youth development and sporting activities for young people and actively continue developing their citizenship skills. Cadets are actively involved in the community helping the elderly and disabled both locally and internationally.

Young senior members aged 17 and 18 have designated youth leaders to ensure they get individual and appropriate support and guidance as they prepare for their future lives.

The ambulance corps coordinate a range of community care services including day care centres, community care centres and centres for older people. They also provide essential respite for young disabled people at their purpose facilities in the Share Holiday Village.

The ambulance corps assist pilgrims to Knock, Croagh Patrick and Lourdes annually.

Ranks of the Ambulance Corps

Cadet Ranks (Ages 10–16)

Adult Ranks (Ages 16+)

Non-Commissioned Officers Ranks

Commissioned Officers Ranks

Volunteers wear epaulettes with a Maltese Cross while members holding a rank wear an epaulette with the Maltese Cross plus rank markings on the shoulders of the uniform. Different colour epaulettes are used to denote various medical qualifications and if a member is a member of the Catholic Clergy.


The Uniform most commonly worn is the working uniform (2008) which consists of:

  • Dark grey jacket
  • Dark grey sweater
  • Official pilot shirt
  • Red Cravat
  • Cap
  • Black belt with logo on buckle
  • Epaulettes
  • Plain or combat trousers, depending on duty location
  • Hi-Vis waterproof bomber jacket, depending on duty location
  • Light hi-vis vest, depending on duty location
  • Grey Rain Jacket and Rain trousers, depending on duty location and environment
  • Black safety boots or shoes
  • Safety helmet depending on duty location and incident involved.

Members may also wear a dress uniform on formal occasions. This consists of a military pattern tunic and trousers in grey, a white shirt and black tie and black shoes. A peaked cap is worn, the type depending on whether it is worn by an officer or other member. On certain occasions, male officers may wear a brown leather Sam Brown belt with brown leather gloves.

National Organisation

The Order of Malta Ambulance Corps aims to have at least one unit based in every county in Ireland. The island of Ireland is divided into nine regions, each region administered by a Regional Director.

Regions and units

The island of Ireland is divided into nine regions, each with an appointed Regional Director who reports directly to the Deputy National Director. The Regions are:

Northern Region
Antrim, Armagh, Down, Fermanagh, Tyrone and Derry
North Western Region
Mayo,Donegal, Sligo & Leitrim.
Western Region
Galway and Roscommon
South Western Region
Clare, Limerick, Cork and Kerry
South Eastern Region
Carlow, Kilkenny, Waterford, and Wexford
Eastern Region
Dublin and Wicklow
Midlands Region
Tipperary, Westmeath, Offaly, Longford, Laois and Kildare
North Eastern Region
Louth, Meath, Monaghan and Cavan

Further reading

See also


  1. ^ [1][dead link]
  2. ^ "Adrian FitzGerald - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia". Retrieved 2013-10-05. 
  3. ^ [2]
  4. ^ [3]

External links