Weeding the Old to Bring Forth the
New Protecting the Community with
Full Dedication and Professional
Excellence
Hong Kong Fire Services Department

Exemplary Services@Gov
2009

The frontline personnel of the Fire Services Department (FSD) often risk their own lives in protecting the public's lives and properties. Their services to the public remarkably elaborate the spirit of "Serving the Community with Full Dedication and Professional Excellence; Always People First." With clear objectives for service delivery and through various channels where the FSD would listen to the views of frontline staff and the public, and make good use of resources by doing more with less, the FSD has integrated community efforts and effectively implemented various measures to enhance customer service.

Improving Publicity and Enforcement, and Drawing Community Efforts Together

In order to completely solve the chronic fire safety problems in old composite buildings, the FSD strives to implement its "4-pronged" programme, i.e. fire safety publicity, strengthening of law enforcement, regular inspections and collaboration with the community. To achieve the objective, the FSD has set up the Special Enforcement Unit to inspect such buildings and strengthen law enforcement. At the same time, it implements the Building Fire Safety Envoy Scheme, which actively recruits and trains the occupants of the target buildings aiming at fostering partnership relationship to assist the FSD in promoting fire safety education, and, as a result, eliminating potential fire hazards. Mr LO Shu-nam, Deputy Chief Fire Officer (NT)/South, said, "Generally speaking, the effects of law enforcement are only temporary, while the '4-pronged' programme is a forward-looking strategy that solves problems for in the long-term as well as short-term manner."

With regard to ambulance service, the FSD has launched the Heart Saver Scheme in the community, which aims at improving the survival rate of emergency patients. Mr SHUM Kwok-leung, Senior Assistant Chief Ambulance Officer (HQ), said, "To facilitate the implementation of this Scheme, the FSD organised courses on Public Access Defibrillation' for free, appointed qualified members from organizations in various sectors as Heart Savers, and promoted the installation of defibrillators in public places."

Committing with Courage and Relieving People from Difficulties

In 2008, voluntary members of the FSD joined the Sichuan earthquake rescue work. A total of 24 bodies were extricated from the rubble and returned to their families. Mr TAM Tai-keung, Senior Divisional Officer (New Projects), said, "The 1999 earthquake in Taiwan alerted us that Hong Kong needed a special rescue squad for ourselves. Therefore, in 2000, the FSD set up the Special Search and Rescue Team and subsequently sent members abroad to receive specifically urban search and rescue training to enhance their performance and capability in handling major incidents or disasters such as building collapse and landslides." To date, 131 members have completed such training.

LO Shu-nam, Deputy Chief Fire Officer (NT)/South (middle) remarked that compared to mere enforcement, the "4-pronged strategy" is more effective in enhancing public awareness of fire safety and in eliminating potential fire hazard. From the left: Mr Edmond TSE, Hong Kong West Divisional Commander; Miss Ellen YUNG, Chief Executive Officer; Mr SHUM Kwok-leung, Senior Assistant Chief Ambulance Officer (HQ); and Mr TAM Tai-keung, Senior Divisional Officer (New Projects).
The overall efficiency of the Department has increased as a result of its active introduction of new measures to enhance customer service and staff's work commitment.
The Department strengthens fire safety publicity by integrating with community efforts, such as the "4-pronged" programme, the Fire Safety Ambassador Scheme, and the Heart Saver Scheme.
Over 130 members of the Urban Search and Rescue Team have received Relevant special training and are ready for handling emergencies.