CS reviews Fire Services passing-out parade (with photos)

     The Chief Secretary for Administration, Mrs Carrie Lam, inspected a passing-out parade comprising 19 station officers, 57 firemen and 47 ambulancemen at the Fire Services Training School (FSTS) today (April 4).

     Speaking at the parade, Mrs Lam commended fire and ambulance personnel for rising to the challenge in providing round-the-clock services for the public.

     "There has been a great public demand for the emergency services of the Fire Services Department (FSD) as more than 780 000 calls for fire services, special services and emergency ambulance services were received by the department last year - an average of over 2 150 calls per day. To meet the increasing workload, the department actively recruits those who are committed to serving the community, including the 385 fire and ambulance personnel recruited last year," she said.

     Mrs Lam said the provision of a high standard of professional training is essential in ensuring that the professional abilities of fire and ambulance personnel can advance with the times. She understood that due to space constraint, the existing two training schools of the department cannot accommodate more sophisticated fire-fighting and rescue training facilities. With the joint effort of the departments concerned, the FSD succeeded in identifying a piece of land covering an area of 16 hectares in Pak Shing Kok, Tseung Kwan O, for the new FSTS. With its sophisticated and comprehensive training facilities, the new FSTS will have the capability to provide various types of fire and ambulance training, covering areas ranging from basic skills to specialised knowledge as well as different ways of handling major disasters. FSD personnel will be better equipped with techniques in fire-fighting, rescue and pre-hospital care, enabling their professional abilities to rise to new heights.

     "The new FSTS project is expected to be completed in October 2015 and I look forward to witnessing the completion of this modern, highly professional and high-quality training base," she said.

     Mrs Lam said the FSD has also continued to strengthen its work in fire protection to ensure building fire safety, with over 290 000 fire safety inspections conducted by the department last year. In April 2013, the FSD and the Buildings Department launched a one-year joint operation to inspect about 6 500 old-style domestic and composite buildings with a view to strengthening the fire safety of the common means of escape of these buildings.

     "These preventive measures have been very effective. In 2013, there were a total of 36 773 fire calls. If we discount cases of unwanted alarms and false alarms, the relevant figure fell by 37 per cent compared to the figure 10 years ago," she said.
     Mrs Lam said ongoing efforts have been made by the FSD to instil correct concepts of proper use of ambulance services and resources into the minds of the public through publicity in the community and schools. The Ambulance Service Publicity Vehicle attends ambulance service roving exhibitions in various districts to enhance public understanding of ambulance services while a large-scale variety show was jointly produced with a TV station again last year to spread the message of "Do Not Misuse Ambulance Services".

     Mrs Lam congratulated the graduates on their completion of stringent training and encouraged them to fully apply their professional knowledge and skills in their respective positions in fulfilling their commitment to serve the community.

     The parade was followed by a demonstration of fire-fighting and rescue techniques by the graduates. The graduates have each successfully completed 26 weeks of training and will be posted to various fire stations and ambulance depots.

Ends/Friday, April 4, 2014
Issued at HKT 15:35