Dynamic and Specialised Professionalism
Hong Kong Fire Services Department

Exemplary Services@Gov
2015
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Prevention is better than cure. Aside from fire-fighting, the Hong Kong Fire Services Department (FSD) attaches great importance to fire protection. To enhance the efficiency from a law enforcement perspective, the FSD has actively promoted “Law Enforcement Specialisation” in recent years.

Flexible use of resources to enhance efficacy

The FSD has been actively promoting fire safety education to increase the public’s awareness of fire protection and heighten the alertness to hidden fire hazards. Due to heightened awareness, the number of fire hazard complaints received from the public is on the rise. By adopting a forward-thinking strategy and re-deploying internal resources, the FSD established the “Fire Protection Task Force” (FPTF) and “Fire Safety Inspection Team” (FSIT) without increasing associated manpower and other resources.

Prior to the establishment of the FPTF, complaints about illicit fuelling activities or over-storage of dangerous goods were handled by two separate Fire Protection Commands as part of their duties. To enhance the efficiency of law enforcement, the 24-hour standby FPTF was formed in 2014. The FPTF comprises 16 Station Officers and Senior Firemen from the Fire Protection Commands.

The FSIT has four teams, each staffed by one Station Officer and one Senior Fireman deployed from different fire stations on a rotating basis. They are responsible for handling fire hazard complaints about fire escape obstructions from the Wan Chai District, the Yau Tsim Mong District, and the Tsuen Wan District. The FSIT frees frontline fire fighters from inspection duties allowing them to focus on operational responsibilities to suppress fires and save lives.

Sophisticated intelligence gathering initiative

Apart from handling public complaints, the FPTF also takes the initiative to gather intelligence for planned operations. Differing from past practice, officers may now wear plain-clothes to strengthen the effectiveness of their operations. Such innovative change is conducive to the FSD’s enforcement capability. Since the formation of the FPTF, the amount of illicit fuel confiscated and removed by the FSD has increased substantially, which reflects their untiring effort in combating illicit fuelling activities. In late 2014, the FPTF, acting on gathered intelligence, raided a warehouse in Sheung Shui in which enormous quantities of extremely flammable and toxic dangerous goods were stored. This was the largest case of its kind the FSD has detected. Without immediate removal of the dangerous goods, there could have been disastrous consequences in the event of any accidents.

The policy of introducing law enforcement specialisation is worth further promotion and strengthening, as it allows FSD staff to put more focus on law enforcement and fighting illegal activities as well as fire safety violations. Simultaneously it enhances their professionalism through their extensive knowledge and experience accumulated from enforcement operations.

The FSIT is responsible for handling fire hazard complaints about fire escape obstructions in districts with a large number of old buildings. The creation of the FSIT allows frontline fire fighters to focus on operations to suppress fires and save lives.
The FSIT is responsible for handling fire hazard complaints about fire escape obstructions in districts with a large number of old buildings. The creation of the FSIT allows frontline fire fighters to focus on operations to suppress fires and save lives.
In late 2014, the FPTF raided a warehouse at Hung Lung Hang, Sheung Shui, in which enormous quantities of extremely hazardous dangerous goods were stored. This case was the largest one of its kind the FSD has detected.
In late 2014, the FPTF raided a warehouse at Hung Lung Hang, Sheung Shui, in which enormous quantities of extremely hazardous dangerous goods were stored. This case was the largest one of its kind the FSD has detected.
Wearing plain-clothes is one of the new initiatives to enhance the enforcement capability and efficiency of the FPTF. The enforcement vest is specially designed so that the identity of officers can be covered by a flap.
Wearing plain-clothes is one of the new initiatives to enhance the enforcement capability and efficiency of the FPTF. The enforcement vest is specially designed so that the identity of officers can be covered by a flap.