TEAM UP FOR THE CRADLE OF ELITES
Hong Kong Fire Services Department, Architectural Services Department, Electrical and Mechanical Services Department

Exemplary Services@Gov
2017
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NURTURING TALENTS IN LIFE-LIKE SETTINGS

With the rapid social development, the Fire Services Training School in Pat Heung could no longer meet the training needs of the department after almost 50 years of service. To accommodate more trainees and meet the diverse training requirements nowadays, the Hong Kong Fire Services Department (FSD), the Architectural Services Department (ArchSD) and the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) worked together to build a new Fire and Ambulance Services Academy (FASA) in Tseung Kwan O.

Covering an area of 15 hectares, FASA is well equipped with a wide range of sophisticated training facilities. There is a real fire training area in the north with training facilities that simulate different disastrous scenarios in a safe and controlled environment. The firefighters and paramedics are trained to deal with a variety of emergencies and coordinate the operations effectively. In the south, there is an education and living area with classrooms of different simulated work settings, a public education centre and dormitories for the trainees.

AN UNCONVENTIONAL BUILDING MAKING THE MOST OF AVAILABLE SPACE

The complex community environment in Hong Kong requires the trainees to be familiar with the features of different types of buildings and the ways that rescue work is carried out. However, the space in FASA cannot accommodate all types of buildings for training. FSD creatively came up with a solution to build an innovative Rescue Training Tower combining the features of industrial, commercial and residential buildings. Each of these buildings has its own structure, fire safety system and ventilation system. It was challenging to integrate these features into one building and meet the requirements of the Buildings Ordinance and the Fire Safety Ordinances. This training tower, nicknamed the “Weird House”, would not have been successfully developed without the seamless cooperation between the three departments .

In addition, there is an Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) Training Ground in FASA to simulate the rubble after a building collapse. The structure of the USAR Training Ground has to meet construction standards to ensure the safety of the users. Facilities such as safety rope brackets, emergency exits and CCTVs are also installed in suitable locations in the simulated building and the rubble. To ensure a longer life cycle, the rubble is consolidated with cement grout to resist storms and heavy rains, and to prevent the rubble from loosening and the ditches from silting. The three government departments took both the training needs and the construction limitation into consideration to provide trainees with a life-like and safe training environment.

EXTENSIVE CONSULTATION TO FORGE THE CRADLE OF ELITES

Over the last seven years, the three government departments maintained close communication with the Steering Committee of FASA and other stakeholders, including staff associations of FSD and representatives of the public. Over 500 meetings and site visits were arranged, and views and ideas were incorporated into the final design of FASA.

FASA was opened as scheduled in 2016. In the first year of its operation, the number of trainees exceeded 20,000, five times more than the capacity of the old training school. Two rounds of Open Day were held in 2016, attracting some 26,000 visitors. FASA demonstrated the successful cooperation of government departments to build an ideal training academy for nurturing more talents in firefighting and paramedics.

The “Weird House” integrates multiple life-like rescue situations and training elements.
The “Weird House” integrates multiple life-like rescue situations and training elements.
The newly built FASA is equipped with diverse training facilities to nurture more talents.
The newly built FASA is equipped with diverse training facilities to nurture more talents.
Real fire simulation facilities such as aircraft, vessels and railways are installed in FASA.
Real fire simulation facilities such as aircraft, vessels and railways are installed in FASA.