Maltese Association

Order of Malta


Presentation of Certificates Ceremony

February 21 2024 

A Presentation of Certificates Ceremony concerning the Maltese Association’s Canine SAR Team took place at the Association’s headquarters at Casa Lanfreducci on Wednesday 21 February 2024, at 6.00 p.m.

The event commenced with a welcoming speech by the President Marchesino Daniel de Petri Testaferrata, who was delighted to note the manner in which the Canine SAR Team is growing from strength to strength, now also registering milestone achievements on the local scene.



Joseph Sammut, who functioned as the First Responder Course Instructor, flanked by Team Leader Simon Briffa, then proceeded to present 18 Certificates of Attendance to the various Team Members who participated in the United National INSARAG First Responder Training Course conducted by the Canine SAR Team. Mr. Briffa pointed out that it was an achievement in itself to obtain INSARAG endorsement for the running of this course.

Certificates of Participation for the INSARAG First Responder Training were awarded to:

In Attendance:

Mr Zack Valenzia

Ms Kimberly Mangion

Ms Maria Luisa Liotta Catrambone

Mr Vince Pace

Ms Samara Littlejohn

Mr Anthony Mifsud

Ms Maia Micallef

Mr Simon Briffa

Mr Mark Spiteri

Mr Anton Pace

Mr William Attard McCartney

Ms Carlene Bellizzi

Ms Karina Jane Price

In Absentia:

Mr Keith Micallef

Ms Charmaine Micallef

Mr Harald Oestfelt-Heeringa

Ms Eileen Arpa

Mr Jamie Arpa

Mr Patrick Schembri

Following this, 5 Certificates were presented to those dog handlers whose dogs have recently been certified by Animals Saving Animals, a UK internationally recognised certifying body, following a challenging assessment. This resulted in the Canine SAR Team now having 4 accredited Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) dogs and 1 accredited Cadaver Search Dog, the latter being Malta’s first ever.

Accreditation of Canine Teams certificates were awarded to:

Mr Simon Briffa and K9 Flash (Rubble and Area Search)

Mr Vince Pace and K9 Nico (Rubble and Area Search)

Mr Anthony Mifsud and K9 Stella (Rubble and Area Search)

Ms Kate Bonnici and K9 Kyro (Rubble and Area Search)

Ms Maia Micallef and K9 Milo (Cadaver Search)

Mr. Sammut informed the gathering that dog certification will next be sought in the Tracking sector, which is also expected to be a first for Malta. He forecast that the Canine SAR Team would have a fully deployable unit by the end of this year, and augured that recent contacts which have been made with Malteser International will result in a close cooperation and working relationship.

Light refreshments were then served after the ceremony, where further opportunity was provided for close interaction between those present.

The Hospitaller Dr. Kevin F. Dingli, and Baroncino Michael Trapani Galea Feriol who acts as Council’s representative on the Canine SAR Team were also in attendance, as were Council Member and Communications Officer Martin Micallef and Council Members Dr. Pascal Demajo and Helene Zammit.

The photos of the event are available here:






'Casa Lanfreducci’ - 2, Pjazza Jean de Valette, Valletta VLT 1104, Malta