HKSAR search and rescue team awarded inaugural Chief Executive's Award for Exemplary Performance (with video)

     The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government announced today (June 27) that the HKSAR search and rescue team was awarded the inaugural Chief Executive's Award for Exemplary Performance.
     The Chief Executive, Mr John Lee, said, "I announced the launch of the Chief Executive's Award for Exemplary Performance in the 2022 Policy Address to give recognition to meritorious and exemplary teams or individuals in the civil service on a regular basis, with a view to encouraging civil servants to constantly strive for excellence. It also aims to allow the public to have a better understanding of the Government's work and the excellence of the civil service."
     In February this year, a strong earthquake of magnitude 7.8 struck Türkiye, resulting in serious casualties. The HKSAR Government immediately deployed the HKSAR search and rescue team to carry out search and rescue operations in quake-stricken areas in Türkiye. The 59-strong search and rescue team comprised members from the Security Bureau, the Fire Services Department (FSD), the Department of Health and the Immigration Department. The team, bringing along two search and rescue dogs and rescue equipment with a weight of about eight tonnes, went to the quake-stricken areas in Türkiye and rescued four people and found six bodies under debris after a search and rescue operation that lasted for 216 hours.
     Mr Lee said, "The search and rescue team faced difficulties and dangers of different kinds on the ground, including threats of aftershocks, safety risks posed by collapsed structures, severely damaged roads and very cold weather. The team, however, did not let go of any opportunity to save lives. Team members risked their own lives to accomplish an extremely challenging mission. They carried out the search and rescue work with a strong passion for life and great professionalism, and the operation demonstrated good cross-departmental teamwork. The team has truly lived up to the very spirit meant to be commended by the Chief Executive's Award for Exemplary Performance. I believe that the Hong Kong community at large would join me in paying tribute to the search and rescue team members."
     The Secretary for the Civil Service, Mrs Ingrid Yeung, extended heartfelt congratulations to the HKSAR search and rescue team for being awarded the Chief Executive's Award for Exemplary Performance. She said, "The 59-strong team worked in unity to overcome all the difficulties in the quake-stricken areas in Türkiye and rescued four people. They have demonstrated the glory of humanity and the spirit of commitment that civil servants should uphold. The work of the team has told the world an inspiring and touching story of Hong Kong civil servants. Their selfless devotion is a source of pride for Hong Kong people. The Chief Executive's Award for Exemplary Performance not only recognises outstanding teams and individuals, but also encourages all colleagues in the civil service to take the awardees as role models and make ongoing efforts to strive for excellence."
     Leading the search and rescue team, the Deputy Chief Fire Officer of the FSD, Mr Yiu Men-yeung, was very pleased that the team was awarded the first Chief Executive's Award for Exemplary Performance. Mr Yiu expressed gratitude to the HKSAR Government for affirming the team's efforts in the rescue operation in the stricken areas in Türkiye, as well as the China search and rescue team for all the assistance provided. He said, "I am most grateful to all team members for their committed work, as well as colleagues providing us with support in Hong Kong. While the operation is now completed, we will continue to be dedicated to our duties in our different positions, and give our best to serve the country, the HKSAR Government and the Hong Kong people."
     The nomination exercise for the inaugural Chief Executive's Award for Exemplary Performance commenced in March this year. The Civil Service Bureau invited bureaux to nominate outstanding teams or colleagues for the honour. The response was overwhelming and more than 20 nominations were received. Many nominations involved cross-bureaux or cross-departmental collaboration, fully showcasing the teamwork of the civil service.
     The selection process is meticulous. After being made by the respective Directors of Bureaux, the nominations were considered by a selection committee chaired by the Secretary for the Civil Service and with members comprising two Permanent Secretaries, a representative from the Chief Executive's Office and the Director of Information Services. The committee carefully considered each nomination and put forward its recommendations to the Chief Executive. After considering the committee's recommendations, the Chief Executive made his decision on which teams or individuals should be awarded.
     A video featuring interview remarks by the Chief Executive and introduction to the awarded team and its challenging mission will be uploaded to the Chief Executive's Facebook page, Instagram and Weibo. Members of the public are welcome to view the video.

     The award presentation ceremony for the Chief Executive's Award for Exemplary Performance will be held in mid-July. The awarded team will be presented with an award certificate at the ceremony, and each of its members will be presented with a commendation certificate signed by the Chief Executive. Details of the ceremony will be separately announced.

Ends/Tuesday, June 27, 2023
Issued at HKT 15:32