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Government of Malta officials visit 23 March 2007

A DELEGATION from the Government of Malta visited the Isle of Man yesterday (March 22).

The visit, hosted by the Communications Division of the Home Affairs Department, is part of their feasibility study into the provision of a new communications network for use by the emergency services and the military.

Home Affairs Minister Martyn Quayle commented: ‘The delegates from Malta are keen to learn from the Isle of Man’s experiences as an acknowledged leader in this field – following the successful implementation of the Isle of Man’s TETRA (Terrestrial TRunked RAdio) system but they are also considering our approach in respect of the Emergency Services Joint Control Room.’

A total of seven delegates visited the Isle of Man from Malta including senior officers from the Civil Protection Department (Fire), who are the lead department for the project, police, health services and the armed forces. They were accompanied by their UK based consultants.

Government of Malta officials visit Communications HouseThe Maltese delegation and their consultants are pictured outside Communications House in Glencrutchery Road, Douglas, with Technical Director of the DHA Communications Division Robert Williamson (top right), and Bill McCann, the ESJCR manager (back row, second from right).

Mark Brincat, project leader for the Maltese delegation (pictured front left), said: ‘The visit was invaluable and we are most impressed with the way that the Services work together – it is our dream to have such an operation.’

Malta is now part of the European Union and has to comply with European directives in respect of emergency services communications provision and emergency call handling (999 / 112).

Background information

  • The TETRA (TErrestial Trunked RAdio) system incorporates 2,500 user radios including 400 for use in the TT and MGP races. The network also provides site sharing facilities for the public and private sector such as local radio stations, Manx Telecom’s mobile network and Domicilium.
  • The TETRA system had a capital project cost of £8.7m and is used by 20 different user organisations across government.
  • All 999 calls made on the Island are answered in less than two seconds. In 2006, the control room handled a total of 14,755 emergency 999 calls and dealt with 33,983 emergency events. The TETRA system processed over 1.2million calls in 2006. It handled its 3millionth call on 13 February 2007.

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