Fire call response time meets target

January 13, 2022

The Fire Services Department responded to 93.7% of the building fire calls in 2021 within the graded response time, about 1.2 percentage points higher than the department’s performance pledge.


Issuing the department's year-end review today, it said a total of 33,891 fire calls were received in 2021, a rise of 0.8% compared with the previous year.


There were six No. 3 alarm fires, more than the four recorded in 2020. Among them were two vessel fires in the waters off Stonecutters Island and at Aberdeen South Typhoon Shelter.


A more notable No. 3 alarm fire that broke out recently was the one on December 15 at a commercial centre in Causeway Bay.


Ambulance calls rose 10.9% to about 765,614 in 2021.


Last year, 92.4% of the emergency calls were responded to within the target response time of 12 minutes, which was 0.1 percentage points lower than the department's performance pledge of 92.5%. 


Fighting against COVID-19, the department handled a total of 3,317 calls of confirmed COVID-19 cases in 2021, with the involvement of 2,099 fire and ambulance personnel.


Five ambulance personnel were infected after handling infected patients and they all recovered.


Furthermore, four fire personnel and six ambulance personnel who had handled infected patients were put into compulsory quarantine at quarantine centres.


The department announced last December to establish the Fire & Ambulance Services Teen Connect. Elements of national education will be embedded in the activities offered to nurture the young generation into citizens with a sense of social responsibility and national identity, an affection for Hong Kong and an international perspective. 


Considering that adopting the Chinese-style foot drill can raise service members' sense of identification with and pride in the country, the department began a programme in July last year for the full implementation of the Chinese-style foot drill.


The department will switch to adopt the Chinese-style foot drill in various daily ceremonial occasions from January 24.


Regarding plans for the year ahead, it is actively exploring the use of new technologies to enhance the emergency services.


Firefighting robots are expected to be put into service in the third quarter of 2022.


An estimated 885 fire and ambulance personnel will be recruited this year, including 128 officers and 757 rank-and-file staff.


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