St John Rescue Corps (SJRC) was founded by the late Anthony, the Marquis Buttigieg De Piro (1932-2012).
In 1986, the Marquis Buttigieg De Piro began to raise a corps of rescue volunteers, which would form a new and separate branch within St John Ambulance (Malta). The request to raise a Rescue Corps under the banner of St John was done in order to meet the need of a support civil defence unit in Malta, consisting of adult volunteers fully trained in rescue and first aid.
The first rescue courses organised for the new volunteer recruits of the newly-formed SJRC, were carried out by Marquis Buttigieg de Piro himself with the assistance of instructors from the Armed Forces of Malta. However, help was available from far and wide – the newly formed organisation received equipment, vehicles and uniforms from Germany, the United Kingdom and Italy. These initial donations and offers to help, enabled the Corps to commence operations and provide a sterling and impeccable service that is now approaching its 30th year since its foundation. Having been the founder and Corps Commander of the SJRC for the first 20 years, Marquis Buttigieg de Piro retired in 2006, remaining Corps Vice President until his passing away.
Over the past 30 years, our volunteers have assisted in many emergency and community services. In 1995, SJRC was involved in its first major deployment, when the Libyan tanker Um El-Faroud exploded in the then Malta Drydocks. Since that time SJRC assisted in many emergencies including various industrial fires, searches for missing persons and fireworks factory explosions.
SJRC still operates under the same mission statement and while it does not have any regular donors or benefactors, still heavily relies on the generosity of the public in order to uphold the objectives instilled by its honourable founder.
Together with the St John Ambulance Association’s Training Branch and the St John Ambulance (First Aid & Nursing), the Rescue Corps forms part of the St John Association of Malta and operates under the auspices of the Order of St John, of which Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is Sovereign Head.