消防事務處年報 FIRE SERVICES DEPARTMENT Annaul Report 1965-1966

HONG

KONG

ANNUAL

DEPARTMENTAL

REPORTS

1965-66

DIRECTOR OF

FIRE SERVICES

HONG KONG

ANNUAL DEPARTMENTAL REPORT

 

BY THE

DIRECTOR OF FIRE SERVICES

J. MILNER, J.P., M.I.FIREE., A.M.INST.B.E., A.F.I.C.D.

FOR THE

FINANCIAL YEAR 1965 - 66

PRINTED AND Published by S. Young, GOVERNMENT PRINTER

At The Government Press, Java ROAD, HONG KONG

EXCHANGE RATES

When dollars are quoted in this Report, they are, unless otherwise stated, Hong Kong dollars. The official rate for conversion to pound sterling is HK$16=£1 (HK$1=1s. 3d.). The official rate for conversion to U.S. dollars is HK$5.714=US$1 (based on £1-US$2.80).

49272-12K-12/66

CONTENTS

GENERAL SURVEY OF THE YEAR.

Paragraphs

1 - 15

ClassificatTION OF FIRES

16

+

SUMMARY OF CALLS

REORGANIZATION

17 - 20

21

CHANGES OF TITLES

AMBULANCE SERVICE

22

23 - 27

AIRPORT CONTINGENT

DIVING SERVICE

AUXILIARY FIRE SERVICE

RECRUITING AND TRAINING.

28 - 31

32 - 34

35 - 37

38 - 46

BUILDING ACCOMMODATION.

47 - 50

PHYSICAL TRAINING AND EDUCATION

51 - 53

WELFARE AND DISCIPLINE

54 - 71

TRANSPORT, SUPPLIES AND WORKSHOPS

72 - 75

FIRE PREVENTION BUREAU

76 - 97

STAFF CHANGES

98 - 101

HONOURS AND AWARDS

102 - 103

ANNUAL FIRE SERVICE BALL

APPRECIATION

FIRES OF PARTICULAR INTEREST

SPECIAL Services of ParTICULAR INTEREST

iii

104

105 - 106

107 - 172

173 - 187

APPENDIX I.

APPENDICES

Organizational Chart.

APPENDIX II.

Causes of Fires, Deaths and Injuries.

APPENDIX III.

Special Service Calls Analysis.

APPENDIX IV.

Fire Prevention Statistics.

APPENDIX V.

Summary of Appliances and Equipment.

$

APPENDIX VI.

Workshops Statistics.

APPENDIX VII.

Authorized Establishment of Personnel for 1965-66.

APPENDIX VIIIA. Summary of Lectures given by Fire Prevention

Bureau.

APPENDIX VIIIB. Summary of Lectures given by Operational Com-

APPENDIX IX.

APPENDIX X.

APPENDIX XI.

mands.

Fire Services Department Welfare Fund.

Airport Contingent Statistics.

Fire Service Building Programme.

iv

GENERAL SURVEY OF THE YEAR

PARADOXICALLY the one constant factor in Fire Service activities in Hong Kong is the infinite variety of operational challenges which the Service is called upon to meet in discharging its obligations to the com- munity. The year under review has been no exception; the Service has been called upon to deal with incidents involving persons or property in peril ranging from aircraft crashes to traffic accidents, from gasholder breakdowns to a grounded oil tanker, and from mountain rescues to underwater searches.

2. Outbreaks of fire in the year under review were 22% less than in the previous year, and special service calls decreased by 17%.

     3. The summer of 1965 produced well above average rainfall, but there were no serious visitations of typhoons and in consequence there was a marked reduction in calls to house collapses, landslides and floods. In 1964, 143 persons were killed or injured in calls of this nature against 42 fatalities or injuries for this year.

4.

(i) OUTBREAKS OF FIRE

April-October (traditional 'fire-free' period) November-March (traditional fire season)

April-October November-March

April 1965

(ii) SPECIAL SERVICE CALLS

+

(iii) DIRECT FINANCIAL LOSSES

1243 fires (69 major) 1485 fires (84 major)

425 185

...

May 1965

June 1965

July 1965

44

...

...

August 1965

September 1965 October 1965

November 1965

December 1965

January 1966

$

166,504 656,194

548,361

...

721,883

213,504

920,556

397,826

467,646

279,390

632,803

541,423

February 1966 March 1966 ...

+4

---

5,885,185

$11,431,275

1

5. The figures in para. 4(iii) above for March include an estimated $5,153,520 fire loss sustained at a fire at the Chung Kiu Emporium, Nathan Road, Kowloon on 14th-15th March, 1966; this figure may require adjustment when the insurance companies have completed their

assessments.

6. Assuming there will be no significant adjustment of estimated fire loss at the Chung Kiu Emporium, the direct financial loss for the year was $11.4 m. against $9.7 m. for the previous year.

7. Based on a population of 4 million (rounded) the per capita fire loss in Hong Kong rose from $2.77 in 1964-65 to $2.86 for the year under review. This, nevertheless, still compares very favourably with the British fire losses for approximately the same period and for an estimated population of 54 million which was $22.61 per capita.

8. Of the total fire loss, industrial fires accounted for $3.5 m., an almost 50% reduction on the previous year and, of course, another $5.1 m. of direct loss is accountable to the Chung Kiu Emporium fire.

9. Fire and ambulance calls excluding the Airport Contingent during the year amounted to 68,458 at which 193 members of the public died, 778 members of the public were injured, 1,266 persons were rescued from places of peril and 44 members of the Service sustained injuries.

 10. Whilst a number of members of the Service sustained serious injuries during operations, none of these were of a permanently in- capacitating nature. Most regrettably however, one fireman, Mr. NGAI Yu-chuen, sustained fatal injuries during a training exercise when a hose line he was holding broke free of control and flung him to the ground. An inquest into this accident was held at Western Magistracy on 8th February, 1966 at the conclusion of which a verdict of death by misadventure was returned.

11. With the whole-hearted co-operation of the G.I.S. and all radio and press agencies an intensive publicity campaign was mounted to inculcate the public in the dangers of firecrackers at Chinese New Year, and the 1966 celebrations showed a pleasing decrease in outbreaks of fire attributable to firecrackers. There are, however, no grounds for complacency for whilst the publicity campaign doubtless contributed to reducing outbreaks of fire during this festival, the greatest single deterrent was the humid weather.

2

CAUSES OF FIRE

12. The classification of supposed causes of fire is set out in Appendix II from which it will be seen that there is no significant deviation from the pattern of previous years. Carelessness continues to be the predominant cause of fire, and no less than 42% of fires in this year can be directly attributed to carelessness and negligence.

     13. During the year our procedures were revised for investigating fires particularly where circumstances were suggestive of deliberate origin. Arson is one of the most difficult crimes to detect and prove. The fire destroys much of the evidence and fire fighting operations further disturb this. Thus the investigation of arson requires the closest possible co-operation between pathologists, chemists, Police and Fire Service investigators. The arrangements for achieving such co-operation were reviewed and improved and we now have a more scientifically disciplined investigation procedure.

     14. As will be seen from the appendices there were eleven fires which are believed to have been deliberately ignited. This is not necessarily a true increase in arson incidence over previous years but more probably the result of the tightening up of liaison and improved investigation procedures introduced during the year. In eight of the eleven cases neither the Police nor Fire Service were able to produce sufficient evidence for the prosecution of any person or persons for arson. Criminal proceedings were instituted in three cases; in one case the defendant died before the trial was completed; in one case the defendant was committed to a mental hospital; and the remaining case is still sub-judice.

     15. All major fires are investigated by two independent teams of fire officers whose task is divided into three main parts--physical examination of debris which may occupy several days; interviewing witnesses, which again may take several days; and the collection and conveyance of specimens for chemical analysis, which may take upwards of a week.

CLASSIFICATION OF FIRES

     16. The classification and pre-determined attendance schedules for outbreaks of fire in the Colony differ radically from systems used elsewhere in the Commonwealth, but for simple comparative statistical purposes fires may be classified as follows:

3

Small fires

First Aid lines or Hand Extinguishers

0-5 jets

1st alarms

2nd alarms

5-10 jets

(premises of special risk, e.g.

Dangerous Goods Store)

3rd alarms

5-10 jets

4th alarms

11-25 jets

(and/or persons unaccounted for)

5th alarms

***

26-50 jets

Disaster alarms

All resources

17. Fires

Aircraft

SUMMARY OF CALLS

Buildings: (a) Domestic premises

(b) Non-domestic premises

Chimneys

...

Electrical

Vegetation

Motor Transport

Ships

Miscellaneous small fires

Squatter areas

False alarms:

(a) with good intent

...

(b) malicious...

18. Special Services

Landslides, house collapse, drowning, etc.

19. Ambulance Calls

Emergencies

::

:

P

1

456

417

...

28

439

515

134

23

462

42

137

74

Ordinary removals to and from hospitals and clinics

20. Summary of Alarms for the year was as follows:

1st alarms and small fires

2nd alarms

3rd alarms ...

4th alarms

5th alarms

Disaster alarms

Special services

:

604

25,246

39,880

2,554

21

129

22

2

604

4

REORGANIZATION

     21. On 1st April, 1966 the Service was reorganized into four main commands, i.e. Fire Service Headquarters, Fire Prevention Bureau, Hong Kong Island and Marine Command, and Mainland Command (see Appendix I). Each command, except Fire Service Headquarters, is under the command of a Chief Fire and Ambulance Officer or, in the case of the Fire Prevention Bureau, by a Chief Fire Prevention Officer. The revised structure of the Service in effect provides two semi- autonomous fire brigades on a conventional British pattern working to Fire Service Headquarters which fulfils, inter alia, the role of the Fire Services Department of the Home Office in the British Fire Service

structure.

CHANGES OF TITLES

22. In consequence of the reorganization of the Service, the follow- ing new and revised titles were introduced during the year:

Nil Nil

Old Title

  District Fire Officer Senior Divisional Officer Divisional Officer

  Assistant Divisional Officer Station Officer

Assistant Station Officer

New Title

Chief Fire and Ambulance Officer Chief Fire Prevention Officer Assistant Chief Fire Officer

Senior Fire Officer Class I Senior Fire Officer Class II

Fire Officer Class I

Fire Officer Class II

Fire Officer Class III

AMBULANCE SERVICE

     23. During the year the Ambulance Service responded to 65,126 calls of which 25,246 were of an emergency nature and the balance of 39,880 were non-urgent removals.

      24. Plans for the reconstitution of the Ambulance Service as a separate division with its own officer and rank and file echelons were completed early in 1966, and the new division should be fully opera- tional early in the 1966-67 financial year.

     25. As a necessary preliminary to the production of a five year development plan for the Ambulance Division a Departmental Working party collated, analysed and evaluated the potential ambulance require- ments of the Colony having regard to census appreciations, hospital and other medical development plans, traffic densities, etc. The working party's report was nearly ready by the time this report was written.

5

 26. Without close co-ordination ambulances frequently return to their depots empty after conveying one patient from point A to point B whilst another ambulance is en route to B to convey a patient to A. During the year a trial scheduled ambulance 'bus' service was instituted to carry patients in groups to and from various clinics according to a pre-determined timetable. The results of this trial justify consideration being given to the extension of such a service, and this is being given high priority in the reorganization of the Ambulance Service.

27. During the year approval was given to the policy of equipping all ambulances with V.H.F. radio and to superannuate the obsolete radio units currently installed on 19 ambulances. The first deliveries of the new radio units are expected early in the 1966-67 financial year.

AIRPORT CONTINGENT

28. The Contingent was alerted during the year for a total of 154 declared aircraft emergencies; some 4,746 persons were on board air- craft involved in these emergencies (see also paragraphs 126-133- Aircraft Crash, Kowloon Bay and Appendix X).

29. The total number of calls dealt with by the Contingent repre- sents an increase of 328 calls over the previous year, or an increase of 51%.

30. Regular training, including tactical exercises, was conducted at the Airport Fire Station, and early in the year a scrap aircraft was purchased and sited on the reclamation area near the Airport to pro- vide facilities for more realistic fire drills.

31. Officers of the Airport Fire Contingent also gave basic fire fighting instruction to C.P.A. flight and cabin crews and conducted courses for fire officers from the general service in aircraft crash and rescue procedures.

DIVING SERVICE

32. Fire Service divers were called out on 10 occasions during the

year.

33. The training diving establishment now consists of six whole time diving leaders (Principal Firemen) and 19 members of the Service who are trained in diving work in addition to normal fire fighting and rescue duties.

6

34. During the year Fire Officer Class I A. S. CONWAY attended courses at H.M.S. Vernon, Portsmouth, and Fire Officer Class I C. FRETWELL attended a diving course at H.M. Naval Base, Singapore. Both these officers received extremely good reports on their attendance at the courses.

AUXILIARY FIRE SERVICE

     35. Although operational demands on the A.F.S. were less this year, mainly as a result of the relatively typhoon-free season, elements of various divisions were called out to support professional echelons at several major fires and performed their duties admirably.

36. In training and organization spheres concentration has been centred on the complete integration of professional and auxiliary per- sonnel and resources. The degree of integration was put to the test at a combined Fire Service/Auxiliary Fire Service exercise held on 30th January, 1966 at which the Colonial Secretary and the Defence Secretary were present. 'Post mortem' evaluation of this exercise shows that whilst there are still some areas in which improvement is required, the integra- tion is now thriving and within a short while should result in parallel standards of proficiency and operational capability of both professionals and auxiliaries.

     37. The Auxiliary Fire Service Band again proved a popular attrac- tion in public parks and playgrounds in which during the year it gave nine concerts.

RECRUITING AND TRAINING

38. Training programmes continue to be frustrated by the inade- quacy of training accommodation. However, construction on the long overdue Fire Service Training School at Sek Kong is now steadily progressing, and there is little that can be done which is not already being done by improvisation to counteract training inadequacies until the Sek Kong project is commissioned in, it is hoped, late 1967.

     39. In February, 1966 the former Mong Kok Old Police Station was reprovisioned as Mainland Fire Headquarters, previously situated at the Naval Camber, Kowloon, thus releasing the latter building, for use as a temporary training school.

     40. Two major training improvements were introduced during the year. The first of these was the appointment of a training officer to the

7

Fire Prevention Bureau. In this we were fortunate to secure the services on temporary terms of Mr. WONG Wai-tsoi, M.B.E., G.I.F.E., who re- tired in 1960 after 27 years service, most of which he spent in fire prevention work. The Training Officer, Fire Prevention will conduct courses (the first of which will commence in May, 1966) at three levels, viz.:

(i) Basic Fire Prevention Course

(ii) Intermediate Fire Prevention Course (iii) Advanced Fire Prevention Course

2 months.

3 months.

6 months.

 41. The second improvement was the temporary conversion of Lai Chi Kok and Aberdeen Fire Stations into Special Training Establish- ments Nos. 1 and 2 respectively. Carefully selected personnel were posted to these stations to develop their leadership, capabilities and technical aptitudes. Personnel who had positive potential for advance- ment in the rank and file were posted to S.T.E. No. 2; personnel who had a sound knowledge of English and were, therefore, potential officers were posted to S.T.E. No. 1. These establishments function as normal fire stations, but personnel by rotation discharge the duties of various ranks (although they retain their substantive salary and emoluments). For example, a Leading Fireman posted to S.T.E. No. 1 may one week find himself discharging the duties of a Fire Officer Class III and the following week the duties of a Fireman Class II. At S.T.E. No. 2 a Leading Fireman may be assigned to the duties of a Fireman Class II or a Principal Fireman by rota. Personnel at these establishments are subject to concentrated instruction and study and are kept under excep- tionally close but sympathetic surveillance by specially selected officers. It is too early for any realistic appreciation of the long term value of Special Training Establishments but there are already indications that they may become a principal source of supply for officer echelons and may eventually lead to the abolishment of direct recruitment into such echelons.

Recruiting

 42. For the first time in four years the actual strength of the Service is within 13% of the authorized establishment, and there is every pros- pect that the shortfall of 13% will be made up by recruiting in the coming year.

 43. The approaching coincidence of actual and authorized establish- ment gives, however, a false impression since even when this is attained

8

the Service will be under-staffed as training inadequacies have made it necessary to curtail requests for additional staff.

     44. A large proportion of the Service is under-trained and lacks experience in depth due to rapid expansion over the last few years. Major staff increases at this time therefor would elevate and over- burden supervisory planes, outstrip economically acceptable training appropriations, increase the superficiality of local staff training but above all would give a dangerously false sense of security in both fire fighting and fire prevention fields.

     45. Whilst the standard of officership in the Fire Officer Class III grade is improving and this grade is well leavened with officers who have already demonstrated potential for ultimate promotion to senior posts, it requires a minimum of five years training and experience to reach the standard required for promotion to Fire Officer Class II, and less than 50% of the Fire Officer Class III establishment have more than two years service. Thus there will be a shortage of Fire Officers Class II for some years even allowing for accelerated advancement of outstanding officers and it has, therefore, been necessary to continue recruitment (on temporary appointment) of experienced expatriate officers.

     46. For many years we have been unable to attract sufficient trained fire officers from overseas principally because expatriate fire officers on appointment to Hong Kong Fire Service lost all pensionable service in their country of domicile and are statutorily prevented from re-joining their home country fire service except by starting again as a fireman. After many years of negotiations a formula has been evolved by which British fire officers can be seconded to Hong Kong for a three year tour without any loss of pensionable service, and it is hoped that the first group of 'seconded' officers will arrive in Hong Kong early in the 1966-67 financial year.

BUILDING ACCOMMODATION

     47. Although there has been little actual improvement under this subhead since my predecessor's two previous annual reports, the Fire Service building programme is now gathering momentum, and within the forthcoming year it is anticipated that the following premises will be commissioned:

(i) The new Fire Service Headquarters, Workshops and Stores at

North Point.

9

(ii) Shau Kei Wan Fire Station.

(iii) A new fire station in Smithfield, Kennedy Town to replace the

present obsolete premises in Belcher Street.

(iv) Ngau Chi Wan Fire Station.

(v) Morrison Hill Ambulance Depot.

(vi) Ma Tau Chung Ambulance Depot.

 48. The Fire Service building programme as currently approved for the next 10 years is shown in Appendix XI of this report.

 49. The criterion in Fire Service planning is that fire stations should be so deployed and in sufficient numbers as will reasonably ensure the arrival of fire appliances at any address within six minutes of the time of call. In common with other cities, ever mounting traffic problems and the associated traffic flow diversions by way of one way streets, flyovers, under-passes, etc., all conspire against the six minute. response principle in Hong Kong. Long before the current building programme is completed it will be necessary to interpose additional stations between those extant or already in the programme, and pre- liminary planning for this was started during the year. Commanders of fire services all over the world are haunted by this problem, and the Firemaster of South-Eastern Scotland Fire Brigade stated in his annual report for the year ended 31st December, 1965 that horse drawn fire appliances probably reached fires faster than modern fire appliances. Certainly the old coolie-drawn manual fire pump could reach a fire in, say, D'Aguilar Street from the Principal Fire Station on Des Voeux Road quicker than modern appliances can do from the same station.

 50. The accelerating trend towards mammoth blocks of property also conspires against the six minute response. Appliances may, indeed, reach the address within six minutes but the location of the fire and the manhandling of equipment often considerably extends the time of arrival at the actual scene of a fire by virtue of the distance/height of the incident from the nearest point accessible to fire appliances. The remedies for this are not easy to determine, but it appears that the time is not too far distant when consideration will have to be given to the enactment of legislation prescribing whole time professional fire patrols for all multi-occupancy premises above a certain volume or which have sections X minutes pedestrian travelling time from the nearest vehicular access especially in the case of places of public assembly, e.g. theatres, restaurants, etc.

10

PHYSICAL TRAINING AND EDUCATION

51. Within the compass of our modest resources good progress has been made and soundly based physical training and recreational pro- grammes are being conducted at all fire stations as part of the normal day to day routines.

     52. The physical standards for entry into the Fire Service are prob- ably more exacting than for any other Government appointment and therefore generally ensure that in terms of physique and stamina fire- men are above the average for their class. Nevertheless, fire ground observations by senior officers and the experience and investigations by the Physical Education Officer clearly show that the stamina and recuperative capabilities of the average member of the rank and file fall very much short of that demanded by modern fire fighting. In consequence, success at operations, especially in multi-storey buildings, is increasingly dependent upon sheer weight of numbers of personnel.

     53. The underlying causes of stamina shortcomings and the resolu- tion of the operational and administrative problems associated with measures to raise stamina levels and combat fatigue defy condensation into comprehensible annual report material. However, to eradicate any doubt that the subject of physical fitness is being actively tackled, it must be stated that investigations clearly indicate that physical exercise per se will not significantly raise the stamina levels and the Physical Education Officer must be reinforced as soon as possible by qualified assistants. Work is now in progress on the formulation of requirements under this subject including the revision of subsistence allowances and the payment thereof either in cash or kind to ensure that all personnel when on duty receive the minimum nutritional intake compatible with operational demands.

WELFARE AND DISCIPLINE

     54. Financial difficulties continue to be the predominant problem in maintaining the well being and contentment of the rank and file. As will be seen from Appendix IX $32,123 in loans and grants were made by the Welfare Fund to help members of the rank and file in times of hardship.

     55. During the year the procedure for paying out loans and grants was reviewed and streamlined. It is now usual in cases of genuine and urgent need for an applicant to receive financial assistance from the

11

Fund within an hour or two of making his problem known to a senior officer.

56. The Physical Education Officer continues to be an important agent in the maintenance of welfare and his organized programme has significantly contributed to the maintenance of morale during the year.

WELFARE AGENCIES

 57. There are now three agencies in the Service directly or indirectly concerned with welfare. They are, namely, the Officers' Mess, the Fire Service Sports and Welfare Club and the Joint Fire Service Council on Staff Relations. In their own fields each of these agencies has made pleasing progress during the year, but as there is some overlapping of duties and responsibilities a departmental study group is now engaged in investigating the feasibility of combining all three agencies into one organization.

FIRE SERVICE STAFF'S GENERAL ASSOCIATION

 58. The Association is in effect the rank and file union and has been recognized as such for many years, but its membership has not kept pace with the expansion of the Service and it now represents less than one-third of the rank and file. Nevertheless, many useful and fruitful meetings have been held between the Association and senior officers during the year, and consideration is now being given as to whether the former should now be afforded representation on the Joint Fire Service Council.

59. As will be seen from the following paragraphs, the Fire Service Sports and Welfare Club under the chairmanship of Assistant Chief Fire Officer F. M. WATSON had a most successful year in all fields of sports and athletics.

Football

60. In the Hong Kong Football Association League Competition Fire Service teams in the 2nd and 3rd Divisions consolidated their position midway up their respective divisions. The football season was highlighted for the Service by the winning of the Jubilee Cup by the 2nd Division team who also reached semi-finals of the Junior Shield competition. In the Chinese Civil Servants' Sports Association Governor's Cup Competition the Fire Service finished 6th out of 28. In the Five-a-Side Knockout Tournament held by the Hong Kong

12

Miniature Football Association the Service team was narrowly beaten in the Final.

Basketball

61. In the Hong Kong Amateur Basketball Association Junior Grade Competition the Service team reached the finals but narrowly missed promotion to the Senior Grade and finished in 3rd place. In the Chung Chi Invitation Tournament and the Tsuen Wan Alexandra Community Centre Challenge Cup the Fire Service teams emerged as winners and runners-up respectively.

Volleyball

    62. In the Commerce and Industry Cup run by the Hong Kong Amateur Volleyball Association the Fire Service team were runners-up to South China in the final placings, and as a result of the team's per- formance Firemen 1398 LEE Pak-yin and 808 CHU Kit-koi were selected to represent Hong Kong against a Japanese team which included several Olympic Games Gold Medallists. The Fire Service's participation in the Yuen Long Sports Association Invitation Knockout Tournament brought disappointing results as the team had been engaged in fire fighting throughout the previous night and had no time for rest or recuperation before the match commenced.

Swimming

63. The Fire Service entered a team of 4 and 2 individual partici- pants in the Annual Cross-Harbour Race. The team finished in 4th place and all 6 swimmers completed the crossing within the time limit and were awarded certificates. In the Colony Swimming Championships Fireman 2256 WAN Cheong-kuen attained 2nd place in the Senior Grade 200 metres Butterfly race and Fireman 1708 NG Wing-sum gained 2nd place in the Junior Grade 100 metres Back-stroke. Fire Service teams also entered the N.T. Administration competitions, the Y.M.C.A./Life Guard Association competitions and the Tun Mun Association Invita- tion Relays, winning the Aserappa Trophy in the first competition and gaining 2nd and 1st place in the other two competitions respectively.

Athletics

64. Service teams were entered in the Hong Kong Athletic Amateur Association's Colony Championships, The Omega Meet, the Quadran- gular Tournament and The 8th Festival of Sport, and in the Colony Championships achieved the following results:

13

400 metres Medium Hurdles

Fireman Class II

1488

WONG Hon-kwong

1st

High Jump

Fireman Class II

1661

LEUNG Shing-tung

2nd

Pole Vault

Fireman Class II

615

CHAN Tak-fu

3rd

Javelin

Fire Officer Class III

CHAN Hoi

3rd

Fire Service

3rd

4 × 400 m. Relay

65. Fire Service teams did particularly well in the Hong Kong Chinese Civil Servants' Sports Association Inter-Departmental Meet, and participated in athletic competitions conducted by the Prisons. Department, Hong Kong/Kowloon Garrison, the Urban Services, the Police, Royal Air Force and Hong Kong Post-Secondary Colleges.

Walkathon

66. One of the most notable single sports successes of the season was the winning of this year's walkathon for the fourth successive year by Fireman Class II 2299 So Kam-tong.

67. 11 members of the Service entered this event, 7 of whom com- pleted the 40 mile gruelling course within the specified time limit and were awarded certificates.

Table Tennis

68. The most successful sports teams during the year were un- doubtedly the Table Tennis team who won the Junior League Competi- tion of the Hong Kong Table Tennis Association and the Governor's Cup (for the second year in succession) of the Hong Kong Chinese Civil Servants' Sports Association Inter-departmental Competition.

(i) Volleyball

INTERNAL SPORTS COMPETITIONS

69. The Cox Trophy was competed for by 16 fire station teams and was eventually won by the Principal Fire Station, Mainland Command after an extremely keen and exciting series of matches.

(ii) Basketball

70. 14 teams entered for the Milner Trophy and after a series of fiercely competitive and enthusiastic games the Trophy was won by the Principal Fire Station, Hong Kong, Islands and Marine Command.

14

DISCIPLINE

     71. A high standard of collective and individual discipline was maintained throughout the year, only 50 members (i.e. 2.3%) of the Service were charged with disciplinary offences under the provisions of the Fire Service Ordinance and only in 3 instances were the offences sufficiently serious to lead to dismissal from the Service. Disciplinary cases may be summarized thus:

1. No. of cases

2.

3.

Personnel involved

Punishments:

(a) total fincs imposed

...

(b) reprimands and severe reprimands

(c) extra drills

·

+

50

50

$618

(d) total sum recovered to defray cost of lost or

damage equipment

26 cases

12 cases

$213

TRANSPORT, SUPPLIES AND WORKSHOPS

     72. The division is responsible for providing and maintaining all operational resources and has maintained a consistently high standard and output of work as is evidenced in Appendices V and VI.

Construction of Appliances

     73. The division during the year constructed three units to meet the peculiar topographical needs of the Colony, the purchase of which from sources outside the Service would have involved disproportionately high expenditure having regard to the duties for which the units were con- structed. Two of these vehicles were a light rescue unit constructed on a Ford F100 chassis; the third unit was a hose and ladder carrying appliance on a Commer chassis. Photographs of the light rescue unit and the hose and ladder lorry are included in this report.

Journey Recorders

     74. Partly to protect the reputation of the Service but mainly to provide data for forward planning, for the critical analysis of work loads and for the adjustment of ambulance schedules, etc., work was commenced during the year on installing tachograph recorders in all Fire Service vehicles and ambulances. These recorders show the per- formance of all vehicles, over seven successive days, whether stationary or in motion; they show actual road speeds at any given time and the duration of any stoppages, etc. The recorders are maintained in such

15

a manner that if required they can be produced in court as evidence of the circumstances which may be under query.

Accidents to Fire Service Vehicles

 75. The total mileage of Fire Service units increased by 100,000 miles, but despite this there was no significant increase in the number of accidents involving Fire Service vehicles; these totalled 131 this year as compared to 123 for last year. The containing of the accident rate at these figures is no doubt due to the more concentrated training programme which started in 1964, but there are no grounds for com- placency, and as training facilities improve driving instruction courses will be intensified.

FIRE PREVENTION BUREAU

76. The Fire Prevention Bureau continued to develop and there are few sections of the community which have not in some way been affected or influenced by the work of the Bureau.

77. In a colony developing as rapidly in terms of industrial sophis- tication as Hong Kong the Service is faced with a multitude of problems, but the most important of these is staffing the Bureau by trained technologists. Any expansion programme for the Fire Preven- tion Bureau must necessarily be geared to the rate at which trained staff can be provided. Fire protection duties necessarily demand pre- liminary training and experience of fire ground activities followed by a minimum of two years advanced technical instruction. It follows, therefore, that since the operational sections, which are also expanding, must not be drained to strengthen the Bureau, the temptation to expand and extend the Bureau's activities must be resisted however great the pressure is from external sources otherwise quality will be usurped by the superficiality of quantity and permutate the existing and future fire hazard problems.

78. Although the Bureau is under-staffed it has had a most success- ful year and has gained the increasing respect and co-operation of the public by the diligence and dedication of its staff.

Abatement of Fire Hazards

 79. Complaints from all sources and by all means (e.g. letters, telephone calls, personal visits to fire stations, etc.) have substantially increased during the year. The majority of complaints draw attention to

16

obstruction of means of escape from fire and indicate a growing awareness of civic responsibilities. Very often hazards can and are removed by firm but tactful warnings, and only when this fail are fire hazard notices served under section 7B of the Fire Service Ordinance 32 of 1954. 5,018 of these notices were served during the year and in about 96% of the cases the hazards were removed without resort to legal action; in the other 4% of the cases legal action was taken to eradicate the hazards.

Complaints

     80. We maintain a round the clock service to receive complaints from the public about fire hazards and receive an average of 500 per month. An increasing proportion of these are of a genuine nature, but we continue to receive a fair percentage which are spiteful or malicious. These waste many hours and often days of the Bureau's time and generate ill-informed criticism of the Service for lack of action in matters which are in fact out of our jurisdiction and amount to disputes between various occupants of premises who seek the Fire Prevention Bureau's intervention as a last resort to gain their own ends.

     81. Too many buildings, which when constructed provided reason- able fire security, are within a short while of their occupation turned into death traps by unauthorized alterations for purely selfish interests. Smoke lobby doors are removed; staircase ventilation openings are blocked up; openings are knocked into fire resisting walls willy-nilly; staircases are removed or their flights resited; openings are made in floors, etc. The Fire Prevention Bureau prosecutes a relentless campaign against these dangerous infringements, but in a city as densely developed as Hong Kong it is quite impossible to keep pace with the rate at which these hazards are created. Hazards are frequently eradi- cated for little more than the time it takes fire 'inspectors' to check the building and are then reinstated.

     82. Ignorance is frequently responsible for the generation of hazards, but experience has shown that most violations are created by unscrupulous persons who by virtue of their background of education and experience should know better and who certainly cannot plead ignorance of their responsibilities or of the logical consequence of their acts or omissions.

     83. Small 'shoe-string' industrial undertakings form a proportion of the elements in the community who repeatedly ignore fire safety requirements, but department stores are by far the worst offenders'.

17

Every inch of available space, not required for customer perambula- tions, is in some stores stacked to capacity with combustible goods; stockrooms almost bulge under the weight of stores therein; fire doors are jammed open or removed; staircases are blocked by displays and etc. These conditions are even more deplorable when one considers the number of serious department store fires which have occurred in recent years throughout the world and of which Hong Kong store owners cannot be ignorant.

Buildings (Fire Service Installations)

 84. This has been the first complete year in which the Director of Fire Services has specified the minimum fire protection measures required in buildings under the provision of the Buildings Ordinance. Inspections of completed installations have risen approximately 50% over previous years.

New Building Plans

 85. 1,430 new building plans were processed by the Bureau during the year; this figure does not include plans re-submitted after amend- ments made by architects as a result of Buildings Ordinance and Fire Service requirements. The decrease of 225 plans compared to last year does not reflect a diminishing work load. The tendency for large-scale development and in consequence the increased depth of investigation and study which plans require has over-compensated for the numerical decrease. If the work done on new plans could be appraised in terms of floor area, height, volume, etc., this year's assessment of the output of the plans section of the Bureau would undoubtedly over-shadow the output in previous years.

Legislation

 86. After protracted consultations with manufacturers and manu- facturing associations, plastics and a number of other combustible substances were removed from Categories 8 and 9 of the Dangerous Goods Regulations and transferred to a new Category 9A.

 87. The amended Regulations result in plastic and certain other substances being released from the stringent licensing, storage and packing requirements specified in the Dangerous Goods Regulations. All that is now necessary is for the storage of commodities (in excess of specified quantities) to be registered with the Fire Service to ensure that--

(a) the stores do conform to reasonable safety standards, and

18

(b) operational elements of the Service are fore-armed with the knowledge of any substantial stocks of plastics and other com- bustibles within their districts.

Inspection of Premises

88. The rising heights to which buildings are now being constructed has made the task of fire prevention officers far more onerous. The reduction in the number of inspections completed in the year as against previous years has not reduced actual work loads. In the older tradi- tional 4-6 storey building it was possible for one fire prevention officer to complete numerous surveys in one day. A single inspection of a modern multi-storey building now often takes several days and involves considerably more follow up action and meticulous appraisal than the older type of property.

Fire Engineering Firms and Agencies

89. There are a number of reputable and efficient firms in the Colony which specialize in fire engineering, but as in every other field the trade has its disreputable elements. The Bureau during the year has been working on the formulation of remedial legislation requiring the registration of fire engineers in a like manner to architects, etc.

Liquid Petroleum Gas (Butane-Propane)

90. Properly installed, used and handled, liquid petroleum gas units are safer than the kerosene appliances they are increasingly replacing. A model code of practice for L.P.G. installations has been drafted by the Bureau in consultation with the major oil companies. The code is now being studied by the Dangerous Goods Standing Committee. In addition to the draft code of practice the Bureau has commenced feasibility studies into the possibility of requiring retailers of L.P.G. appliances to obtain a certificate of competence from the Fire Service Department for which the latter hopes to arrange training courses.

International Fire Conference and Exhibition

91. In association with the Commerce and Industry Department, the Government Information Service and the Hong Kong Government Office in London, the Fire Prevention Bureau participated in the International Fire Exhibition and Conference held in London in July 1965. Press reports and letters of appreciation from various parts of the world indicate that the Hong Kong Fire Service's stand was one of the most impressive in the Exhibition. The stand included locally manu-

19

factured articles ranging from fire boots and torches to hydrants and standpipes.

 92. The stand attracted numerous visitors and manufacturers' representatives and trade enquiries.

 93. The delegation from Hong Kong consisted of Mr. H. T. J. HUTCHINS (Principal Fire Prevention Officer) and Fireman Class I WONG Min and was headed by Mr. J. T. ATKINSON, Chief Fire and Ambulance Officer. The delegation was reinforced on a voluntary basis by Messrs. F. JACKSON (Senior Fire Officer Class 1), J. H. D. BELL (Senior Fire Officer Class II) and A. S. CONWAY (Fire Officer Class I), all of whom were on vacation leave in Britain at the time and by Mr. CHENG Wai-chi (Senior Fire Officer Class II) who was on study leave in Britain.

 94. During the Exhibition a number of fire engineering conference papers were presented, and Hong Kong fire officers actively participated in the proceedings and especially in the forums which are included in the conference agenda.

Fire Prevention Statistics

 95. Statistical summaries of the Bureau's work during the year are at Appendices IV and VIIIA.

Public Relations and Fire Prevention Education

 96. During the year the Bureau and both the operational Commands conducted courses in fire fighting and fire prevention for numerous official and private organizations and in co-operation with the Govern- ment Information Services maintained a continuous anti-fire campaign. Statistics showing the lectures and courses conducted by the Service are shown in Appendix VIII(A) and (B).

97. The Fire Prevention Bureau again provided a senior fire officer to lecture on fire prevention to architectural undergraduates at the University of Hong Kong. A fire prevention officer also conducted a fire prevention lecture programme for students drawn from the Foremen Clerks of Works Class of Higher Certificate Standard at the Hong Kong Technical College.

STAFF CHANGES

 98. Mr. R. G. Cox departed from the Colony on pre-retirement leave on 16th August, 1965, and Mr. J. MILNER assumed command of

20

the Service the same day. Mr. E. L. HANLON, G.M., O.St.J., replaced Mr. MILNER as Deputy Director of Fire Services on 16th August, 1965.

99. Messrs. J. T. ATKINSON and A. E. H. WOOD were appointed Chief Fire and Ambulance Officers on 1st April, 1965 and placed in command of Mainland Fire Command and Hong Kong Island and Marine Fire Command respectively.

     100. Messrs. F. M. WATSON and M. K. LANE were promoted Assistant Chief Fire Officers for Hong Kong Island and Marine Fire Command and Mainland Fire Command respectively on 1st November, 1965.

     101. During the year 60 officers were promoted (35 of them being local officers) and a total of 106 promotions were made in the rank and file echelons.

HONOURS AND AWARDS

     102. The following members of the Service were honoured by Her Majesty the Queen:

Mr. R. G. Cox, G.M., C.St.J.

Mr. A. E. H. WOOD

Mr. A. S. HENDERSON

Mr. F. J. WAKEFORD

Mr. Wu Kwei-wen

Mr. A. J. JONES

Mr. YAU Lo

Mr. HUNG Hing

Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the

British Empire: 1965 Birthday Honours Queen's Fire Service Medal for Distinguished

Service: 1965 Birthday Honours

Queen's Fire Service Medal for Distinguished

Service: 1965 Birthday Honours Colonial Police Medal for Meritorious

Service: 1966 New Year's Honours Colonial Police Medal for Meritorious

Service: 1966 New Year's Honours Colonial Police Medal for Meritorious

Service: 1965 Birthday Honours

Colonial Police Medal for Meritorious

Service: 1965 Birthday Honours

Colonial Police Medal for Meritorious

Service: 1965 Birthday Honours

103. The Service received a number of commendations and letters of appreciation from both Government and private agencies in recogni- tion of success in various operational fields.

ANNUAL FIRE SERVICE BALL

104. The Fire Service Officers' Mess held their annual ball at the Peninsula Hotel on 18th December, 1965 and had for their guest of honour the Hon. M. D. Irving GASS, C.M.G., J.P. The ball was the

21

most successful function of its kind which the Fire Service Officers' Mess have run.

APPRECIATION

 105. The operational elements of the Service inevitably attract public attention and publicity, but no service can run efficiently without its back room boys, namely, the General Clerical Service, the Executive Officers and the Stenographers, Typists, etc. All these elements of the Service have worked extremely hard during the year under review, and the Service in general and I in particular owe them a great debt of gratitude.

 106. The Service also must acknowledge with deep appreciation the assistance and co-operation it has received from the Government Building Surveyor, the Government Chemist, the Director of Informa- tion Services, the Commissioner of Labour, the Director of Marine, the Commissioner of Police, the St. John Ambulance Brigade, kaifongs and the Secretariat branches in general but especially the General, Estab- lishment and Finance sections.

FIRES OF PARTICULAR INTEREST

4th Alarm--39, Sheung Heung Road, Kowloon

 107. 39, Sheung Heung Road is an 11 storey reinforced concrete building housing several factories, which forms part of a block of property approximately 100 ft. by 125 ft. and has access for fire fighting only on the frontage. When Fire Service units reached the scene shortly after 19.25 hours (i.e. time of call) on 2nd May, 1965 they found a severe fire on the 7th floor involving plastics; all floors above the 5th floor were densely smoke-logged, and numerous persons were reported to be missing.

 108. Whilst fire fighting crews made an assault on the fire rescue teams wearing breathing apparatus searching the smoke-logged upper floors found 10 occupants in danger of asphyxiation whom they quickly conducted to the safety of the street.

 109. So intense were the smoke concentrations at this fire that several officers and men were brought to the brink of collapse; one fireman did in fact collapse from smoke inhalation and was conveyed to hospital where happily he quickly recovered.

22

     110. The fire was brought under control at 21.21 hours, i.e. 56 minutes after the time of call, and damage was estimated at $143,000. Despite very thorough investigations by Fire Prevention Bureau officers the cause of the fire could not be determined.

Ship Fire-s.s. 'Tientsin'

111. On 6th May, 1965 a fire broke out in No. 2 hold of the s.s. "Tientsin', a vessel of approximately 5,588 gross tons on passage to Australia from Hong Kong. The Captain decided to proceed to Zamboanga, Southern Philippines to which point the Marine Superin- tendent of the shipping line was flown from Hong Kong. Attempts to extinguish the fire at Zamboanga proved unsuccessful, and the vessel was moved to Manila where it arrived on 14th May.

112. Arrangements were made by the owners for the Chief Fire Prevention Officer, Hong Kong Fire Service, Mr. E. L. HANLON, to fly to Manila as a technical adviser and, if possible, to ascertain the cause of the fire. The Chief Fire Prevention Officer arrived in Manila on 14th May and after carrying out a survey made repeated attempts to enter No. 2 hold using breathing apparatus, but heat and smoke prevented him from penetrating more than a few feet. On each attempt it was observed that great heat was being generated although little flame could be seen.

113. Steam application and continuous discharges of CO2 gas were apparently holding the fire in check. The ship was anchored in Manila Bay and no local fire boat facilities or fire services resources suitable for dealing with a fire of this nature were available. It was, therefore, decided to sail the ship back to Hong Kong and to keep the fire in check during the voyage by massive and continuous CO2 injections.

114. The vessel arrived in Hong Kong at approximately 7 a.m. on Thursday, 20th May and the fire was finally extinguished by placing the ship in dry dock and flooding the affected hold. Despite very thorough investigations the cause of the fire could not be determined.

3rd Alarm- Beach Street, Kowloon

115. Shortly before 11 p.m. on 28th May, 1965 a fire broke out near the Tai Kok Tsui waterfront on land occupied by numerous single storey and two storey temporary workshops, timber yards, saw mills and scrap merchants.

116. Fire Service units which reached the scene within a few minutes of the first call being received were confronted with a rapidly

23

spreading fire on a 100-150 feet frontage. Being close to the sea water supplies presented no great problem but access into the area was hampered by the conglomeration of temporary structures, stockpiles of timber, scrap heaps and the muddy unlevelled and undrained ground. To add to the difficulties of manhandling equipment into position a series of explosions occurred during the early phases and the operations, and continued spasmodically until the fire was extinguished. So serious did the explosions become that at one stage, having regard to the difficult escape routes from the area, all personnel were withdrawn to the boundaries of the fire ground.

 117. The fire was brought under control using 23 deliveries and a water tower (turntable ladder) in a little under 2 hours after the time of call. The financial loss at this fire is estimated at $141,000 and the cause is believed to have been the arcing of a defective electrical circuit igniting nearby combustibles.

4th Alarm-Diamond Hill, Kowloon

 118. In the early hours of 12th July, 1965 a fire broke out in a hillside squatter area at the above captioned location to which the Fire Service were called at 04.16 hours. The first Fire Service units reached the scene within four minutes of the call and were confronted by an extensive fire which was being driven rapidly along a 350 ft. front by strong winds.

 119. The fire was approximately mile from the nearest road, and the uneven terrain and conglomeration of squatter property made the laying of hose lines and the manhandling of equipment extremely difficult. However, in pre-planning for fires in this area a dry pipeline had been installed and this proved of inestimable value in bringing the fire under control.

 120. The fire which ultimately extended over 60,000 sq. ft. was virtually extinguished in a little over two hours after the arrival of the first fire appliances.

 121. Investigation of this incident by Fire Prevention Bureau officers established that the fire, which involved some 135 huts, and a financial loss of approximately $830,000, started in a glove factory but the cause of fire could not be determined. Investigations also indicated that fire and smoke was first seen by witnesses some time before 03.45 hours, i.e. over 30 minutes before the Fire Service were called and thus the fire had developed to considerable proportion before appliances reached the scene.

24

3rd Alarm-138, Bedford Street, Kowloon

122. During the afternoon of 13th July, 1965 a fire broke out in a rubber shoe factory occupying the ground floor and cockloft of a 4 storey reinforced concrete building. The fire though fierce due to the huge stocks of raw and finished materials in the factory could not be classified as a serious one; it was extinguished in less than an hour and the financial loss was less than $38,000. The fire is, however, mentioned here to illustrate the growing demands on our breathing apparatus resources. At this one fire, 24 breathing apparatus sets were simultaneously in use throughout the operations since the entire premises were heavily smoke-logged.

4th Alarm-30, Fuk Wing Street, Kowloon

123. Shortly after 11 p.m. on 8th August, 1965, a fire broke out in this 12 storey reinforced concrete tenement building and on arrival at the scene the first attending crews were confronted with an extremely fierce fire in the ground floor and cockloft which were occupied as a metal chair workshop.

124. The occupants used highly inflammable paint in their process- ing and also had relatively large stocks of paint and thinners on the premises at the time of the fire. The painting of metal chair frames was apparently carried out by dipping them whilst still hot from brazing and welding in a solution of paint and thinners. It was believed that the fire was caused by vapours from this solution being ignited by a nearby open fire or by an incandescent particle still adhering to a chair frame when being dipped.

125. Whatever the cause, the fire flashed through the ground floor killing 7 persons, including 5 young children. Rescue teams found it quite impossible to force an entry into the ground floor which was already a raging inferno when they arrived but succeeded in locating approximately 55 people in the upper floors and conducting them to safety. The fire was extinguished by about 23.55 hours, i.e. 41 minutes after the time of call. The estimated damage was confirmed to be $25,000.

Aircraft Crash-Kowloon Bay

     126. Shortly after 10 a.m. on 24th August, 1965 a United States Marine Corps C-130 aircraft with 71 persons on board plunged into the Kowloon Bay when attempting to take off from Hong Kong Airport. As it plummeted towards the sea one wing hit the sea wall and the

25

plane cartwheeled over, spilling fuel which started fire on a lighter tied alongside the praya and on the surface of the sea.

 127. The aircraft had almost completely submerged on impact and only the tip of one tail plane and the fractured edge of the port wing were visible when the first rescue craft reached the scene a few minutes later. Notwithstanding the obvious hazards of burning fuel, and the real possibility of the entire area flashing into flame, numerous workers and residents of the area, some swimming and some in sampans unhesitatingly went to the aid of survivors who had been flung clear of the wreck. The Coxswain of No. 4 Fire Boat (which reached the scene within a few minutes of the crash) with commendable skill manoeuvred his vessel to within 20 feet of the smouldering aircraft, and two of his crew dived into the water and brought 3 survivors to the boat. There were in all 13 survivors, of whom one subsequently succumbed to his injuries.

128. Land based Fire Service units which reached the scene within 4 or 5 minutes of the crash quickly extinguished the lighter fire and the burning spillage and Fire Service divers made a survey of the wreck. They confirmed that there was no possibility of any persons remaining alive in the wreck since the whole of the fuselage was ripped open and no air bubbles could have been entrained in the aircraft.

 129. Royal Navy divers and Fire Service divers after repeated dives brought two corpses to the surface but as the jagged and mangled wreckage persistently fouled the divers' life lines diving operations to extricate bodies were abandoned.

 130. For several reasons it was vital that the aircraft be raised and put on shore with the absolute minimum delay one of which was that fuel leaking from the tanks was creating a serious hazard to shipping and a nearby oil installation. Salvage operations were begun shortly after noon by Port Works Officers, Hong Kong and Whampoa Dock staff and Taikoo Dock staff. The salvage operation was an extremely difficult and hazardous exercise since it involved the raising and moving of the wreck by the joint efforts of two cumbersome crane barges in an atmosphere heavily contaminated with inflammable vapours.

 131. The removal of the aircraft to the shore occupied over 8 hours. When the aircraft was brought sufficiently close to the shore Fire Service personnel and members of the Dockyard staff began extricating casualties using a rude pontoon of boards and drums. This was a very difficult phase of the operations since the work had to be conducted in

26

5th Alarm Fire-Chung Kiu Emporium: Nathan Road blacked out by smoke.

Tin Tin Yat Po.

4th Alarm Fire in Shau Kei Wan.

-- "པ""

RO

ENTRY CONTROL

TEAM TEAM

X

Light Rescue Unit built by Fire Service workshops on Ford F100 chassis.

H.K.F.S.

Hose and ladder carrying appliance built by Fire Service workshops on Commer chassis.

heavy concentrations of inflammable vapours and without any ready means of escape had a flash fire occurred. After removing 9 bodies the aircraft was placed ashore and further extrication work suspended until the following day since the inflammable vapours precluded the use of the artificial lighting needed to continue working through the night.

132. From the time of the crash until noon the following day fire boats, Marine launches, Police launches and Shell Company launch continually patrolled the area checking and breaking up drifts of fuel spillage with detergents and foam. Extrication of 20 more bodies was completed by 17.22 hours on 25th August, 1965, and a further 27 bodies. were eventually recovered from the sea.

133. The total death roll of this tragedy was 59.

Explosion-Tai Hang Tung Road, Kowloon

    134. At 22.07 hours on 21st September, 1965 Mainland Fire Control received a call to an explosion in a squatter area adjacent to the above captioned road. On arrival Fire Service units found that a number of squatter huts had been extensively damaged by an explosion and numberous persons were scattered about the area with varying degrees of injuries. The casualties were given emergency treatment and con- veyed to hospital by Fire Service ambulances. Of the 24 casualties conveyed to hospital 3 succumbed to their injuries.

4th Alarm-Whitty Street, Hong Kong

135. At 01.38 hours on 25th October, 1965 a fire broke out on the ground floor of No. 26, Whitty Street which is a 15 storey multi- occupancy reinforced concrete building. When the first Fire Service units arrived at the scene within a few minutes of the call, the ground floor was already well alight and dense volumes of smoke were mushrooming through the whole premises. Approximately 100 persons were trapped on the upper floors, being cut off by smoke and heat' from the staircases mainly because smoke lobby doors designed to protect the staircase had all been wedged open. Search and rescue personnel evacuated all persons from the building and the fire was extinguished at 02.26 hours for an actual monetary loss of $58,439.33.

Ship Fire-m.v. 'General Sikorski'

136. On 5th November, 1965 at approximately 01.30 hours a fire was discovered in the No. 4 hold tween deck of the Polish registered

27.

m.v. 'General Sikorski' (6,684 gross tons) moored to buoy A 26 in Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong.

137. The fire involved jute bales and hide scraps and the heat and smoke made it quite impossible for Fire Service personnel to work in the hold. The hold was therefore battened down, all ventilators sealed and large quantities of carbon dioxide gas were injected into the hold for nearly 36 hours. On 6th November, 1965 at 13.17 hours by using an improvised air lock of canvas and timber breathing apparatus teams were able to enter No. 2 hold from an adjacent hold without allowing the dissipation of the carbon dioxide gas, thereby continuing to inhibit development of the fire whilst engaged in close assault thereon. The breathing apparatus teams applied foam to those portions of the cargo still burning and damped down the rest of the cargo with water. Although operations at this fire lasted over 43 hours and conditions due to smoke and heat were extremely punishing to personnel, damage to the ship's structure was negligible and the cargo damage confined to a relatively small proportion of the jute bales.

4th Alarm--Nathan Road, Kowloon

138. The last fire in the calendar year 1965 occurred in the early hours of the morning of 31st December, 1965 in a 12 storey reinforced concrete multi-occupancy building used as department store, night club, restaurant, offices and a hotel.

139. On arrival Fire Service units found part of the 5th floor well alight and the entire premises smoke-logged. A Search and Rescue team forcing a passage through the seat of the fire heard faint tappings which appeared to be coming from a lift shaft. On prising open the hall doors of the lift the team found the inner lift doors fully open and 3 unconscious persons on the floor of the lift. The 3 casualties were removed to hospital by Fire Service ambulance where 1 was certified dead on arrival.

  140. The 3 casualties were hotel watchmen and were on the roof at the time of the fire and hearing noises downstairs they descended in the lift to the 5th floor at which point failure of the electrical system due to the fire stalled the lift. The men forced open the lift doors and were met by a wall of fire which swept into the lift and prevented them from completely closing the doors.

141. The fire was extinguished in a little over one hour after the time of call. The damage was estimated at $72,600 and the cause of the

28

fire is believed to have been an electric short circuit inside the false ceiling.

4th Alarm-Sung Wong Toi Road, Kowloon

     142. The Fire Service was called to this address at 01.40 hours on 22nd January, 1966 and found the 2nd floor of an 8 storey reinforced concrete building well alight; the 2nd to 8th floors of the premises heavily smoke-logged, and 23 persons were trapped above the fire.

143. The premises were being used for the storage and manufacture of plastic and rattan handbags. So intense was the smoke that no less than 22 breathing apparatus wearers had to be simultaneously com- mitted to rescue operations to ensure the prompt extrication of the trapped occupants. All 23 persons were safely evacuated and the fire was extinguished within an hour and a quarter from the time of call.

144. The fire was investigated by Fire Prevention Bureau Officers who assigned the cause as sparks from electric short circuit igniting nearby combustible cartons. The damage of this fire was estimated at $25,000.

4th Alarm-Hong Nin Road, Kwun Tong, Kowloon

145. At 22.12 hours on 23rd January, 1966 Mainland Fire Control received a call to the above address, and Fire Service units found on arrival a severe fire on the ground floor of a 10 storey reinforced con- crete tenement building.

146. The ground floor was occupied by an electrical shop and, inter alia, contained 25,000 pounds of raw plastics and electrical stores. The fire flashed over the ground floor with such rapidity that 6 persons were trapped in the cockloft thereof, but search and rescue teams managed to reach them and lead them to safety. A further 100 persons were trapped by smoke and heat on the other floors and were safely evacuated by rescue teams. The fire was brought under control within 28 minutes of the time of call and was confined to the ground floor. The damage at this fire was estimated at $20,500.

4th Alarm-Wuhu Street, Kowloon

     147. At 21.44 hours on 6th February, 1966 units of Mainland Fire Command responded to a call at the above address to find that the 4th floor of an 11 storey building was well alight. The 4th floor was used as a shoe and slipper factory, and fire and smoke was rapidly

29

spreading through the building and threatening the safety of upper floor occupants.

 148. Search and rescue personnel wearing breathing apparatus searched the upper floors, collected 100 trapped persons and led them to the safety of the street. The fire was brought under control within 22 minutes after the time of call. The damage at this incident is estimated at $67,933, and the fire is believed to have been caused by the over-heating of a drying machine igniting slippers therein.

4th Alarm-Fuk Wah Street, Kowloon

149. This fire to which the Fire Service was called at 03.19 hours on 28th February, 1966 involved the ground floor cockloft, 1st and 2nd floors of a 5 storey R.C.C. tenement building. The ground floor and cockloft were used as a dye and chemical shop.

 150. On arrival of the Fire Service units fire was spreading rapidly to the 1st and 2nd floors trapping 29 people above the fire. The entire building was heavily smoke-logged, and one of the search and rescue teams wearing breathing apparatus pressed their way to the upper floors, first subduing the fire on the lower flights of the staircase and then forcing their way past the main seat of the fire at first floor level. As the team passed the first floor level a violent explosion occurred (later found to be due to an over-heated liquid petroleum gas cylinder) which stunned its 4 members, inflicted severe injuries on their hands and exposed flesh and severed their life lines. 3 of the men quickly recovered and pressed forward with their duties. The 4th man, severely injured, only semi-conscious and isolated from his colleagues by smoke and pockets of fire could not follow them. The Leading Fireman in charge of the rescue team led his 2 companions up through the upper floors, completed the search of the premises and evacuated 7 people including an unconscious child to safety over the roof to an adjoining staircase. To reach the adjoining staircase the men had to force their way through roof squatter structures using their bare and burnt hands to remove obstructions. When the men reached the street all 3 collapsed and were conveyed to hospital.

 151. The explosion stunned the officer in command of the breathing apparatus entry control point but when he recovered he led a second team in and despite punishing conditions succeeded in reaching and bringing to safety the fourth member of the rescue team who had stoically refrained from calling for help in order not to distract his colleagues from their rescue work on the upper floors.

30

152. Other rescue teams at this incident succeeded in rescuing 22 people. The fire was brought under control by 04.52 hours using 10 deliveries and 2 water towers (turntable ladders). The damage at this incident was estimated at $100,000.

4th Alarm-Luen Shing Street, Fanling, N.T.:

Suspected Murder and Arson

153. A Police officer entering the Police Frontier Control at Fanling at about 03.27 hours on 2nd March, 1966 saw the glow of a fire in the vicinity of Luen Wo Market, Fanling and promptly called the Fire Service. The normal first alarm attendance for the Market was despatched from Sheung Shui Fire Station and found a book and stationery shop on the ground floor of No. 34, Luen Shing Street, Luen Wo Market, well alight.

154. No. 34, Luen Shing Street is part of a range of 5 storey R.C.C. tenement houses, each pair of houses being served by a single staircase from the ground to roof. An unauthorized opening had been made in the staircase enclosure giving direct access into the staircase from an unauthorized cockloft in the ground floor of No. 34. Through this opening smoke and heat were pouring into the staircase and making entry at ground floor level impossible. The entire shop frontage was also secured by metal sliding shutters which delayed the close assault on the fire until they could be forced open.

155. At 03.31 hours the fire was upgraded to 3rd alarm magnitude. Whilst hose lines were being run out, fire crews hearing cries for help pitched an escape and a double extension ladder to upper floors at the side of the premises by which they rescued 8 persons. Whilst these rescues were being effected the officer in charge raised the call to 4th alarm magnitude, and a by-stander informed him that there were more persons trapped on upper floors.

156. Since penetration of the building from street level was impos- sible a breathing apparatus entry control was set up on the roof, and breathing apparatus entry teams forced entry down the staircase where they located 7 inert victims. The victims were conveyed to Sheung Shui Clinic where they were certified dead on arrival.

157. The fire was brought under control at 04.28 hours, and upon entering the ground floor the body of a young male employee was found severely burnt on a 2 tiered bunk. It was subsequently learned that the younger brother of the dead employee had also been badly

31

burned and had been taken to Sheung Shui Clinic by the owner of the ground floor shop before the arrival of the Fire Service. This boy also subsequently died in hospital, bringing the death roll to 9.

 158. Post fire investigations revealed circumstances and factors which appeared to be inconsistent with the normal pattern and develop- ment of book shop/stationery shop fires. Moreover, kerosene soaked articles were found in the debris together with 2 partly filled kerosene tins. In consequence, a judicial fire investigation was held. In his findings the Magistrate held that the fire had been feloniously started and that he suspected that the owner of the shop in which the fire originated was the responsible person. He also stated that the Fire Service had done everything in their power to rescue occupants and control the fire.

 159. The shop owner was subsequently charged with 2 counts of murder (the 2 young employees) and 1 count of arson with intent to defraud. At committal proceedings at the North Kowloon Court, the Magistrate found that the owner of the book shop had a prima facie case to answer on the 3 counts as charged, and he has been committed to stand trial at the next session of the Supreme Court.

5th Alarm-582-592, Nathan Road, Kowloon, 14.3.66.

 160. The pre-determined first attendance for this district reached this incident within 5 minutes of the time of call, and the officer in charge thereof, finding the ground floor well alight and dense volumes of smoke belching from upper floors, raised the magnitude of the call to 4th alarm category at 23.53 hours (i.c. 8 minutes after the time of call).

 161. 582-592, Nathan Road consist of 6 houses approximately 100 ft. by 80 ft. in a range of 6 storey reinforced concrete buildings and occupied by a Chinese products emporium.

 162. All normal points of entry into the building were effectively obstructed by substantial iron gates and/or grills. Staircases which normally gave directly on to the street had been either removed or resited so that they terminated inside the premises.

 163. Whilst rescue teams were attempting to penetrate all upper floors and fire fighting crews were striving to gain access into the ground floor, the fire was spreading rapidly and was raised to 5th alarm magnitude at 00.01 hours on 15th March, 1966. By this time the 1st and 2nd floors were approaching flash-over point. By 00.20 hours

32

approximately 4,000 g.p.m. of water was being directed on to the fire; rescue teams had brought out 44 persons including 6 unconscious casualties; and 2 rescue teams had failed to return to the entry control point within the safe limits of their air supplies. 1 team was in contact with the entry control point by walkie-talkie radio and made their way to the roof with a casualty from which they were subsequently rescued by turntable ladder.

     164. The whereabouts of the other missing breathing apparatus team were unknown, and strenuous but abortive efforts were made by their colleagues to locate them. This team was eventually

                        was eventually discovered marooned at an out building at 4th floor level at the rear of the premises and made their escape to safety by heaving lines thrown to them by colleagues from opposite buildings.

     165. Soon after 00.45 hours the first floor flashed over, showering plate-glass splinters on to the personnel and equipment below. Fortunately, fire crews suffered only minor cuts, but several hose lines were severed.

166. The flash-over was, of course, accompanied by an upsurge of fire which threatened adjoining premises on both sides. However, shortly before the flash-over occurred all resources have been deployed in anticipation of this with the tactical objectives of-

(a) stopping the fire vertically at 4th floor level, and

(b) laterally within the building of origin.

    Within a short while following the flash-over 7,000 g.p.m. of water were being discharged into and on to the premises by ground monitors, appliance monitors and turntable ladder water towers.

167. Dense smoke continued to be generated throughout the night making conditions even in Nathan Road, which is 100 ft. wide, extremely punishing for fire crews and reducing visibility to zero. So great was the generation of smoke that it was necessary to direct trajectories of water jets by radio from an observation post set up in a building on the opposite side of the road from the fire and to evacuate premises adjoining both sides of the burning emporium.

     168. By 05.00 hours it was evident that the tactical objectives were within sight of achievement, and by 06.00 hours fire crews were firmly invested inside most parts of the building.

33

 169. It has been feared throughout the night that numerous persons may have been trapped in the building, but despite the strenuous efforts of rescue crews no persons could be located, nor could confirma- tion of missing persons be obtained from spectators. However, shortly after 06.00 hours the Manager of the emporium reported to the Police at the scene that 3 of his female employees were still unaccounted for. The fire was brought under control by 07.00 hours between which time and 08.30 hours the bodies of the 3 missing women were located at the 5th floor of houses 596-588.

 170. Post fire investigations revealed many unauthorized alterations to the building, the most important of which was the conversion of the ground, 1st and 2nd floors into an almost uncompartmentated department store connected by open staircases which led to the 3rd floor; some escape routes had become dead ends as a result of alterations; huge stocks of goods had been stored on staircases, and there was excessive storage of goods on the upper floors; windows had been bricked up and ventilation openings on staircases sealed by shuttering.

 171. The cause of the fire is believed to have been the over-heating of the motor of a cold drink dispensing machine, the normal fuse of which had been replaced by multi-strand oversize copper wire following the burning out of the former some 2 weeks previously.

 172. At the time of writing this fire is the subject of a death inquiry.

SPECIAL SERVICES OF PARTICULAR INTEREST

Kowloon Bay Reclamation

 173. At 16.09 hours on 10th April, 1965 a sewer in the Kwun Tong Road arca collapsed on to three workers. One of the workers managed to extricate himself and call for assistance. Fire Service rescue teams wearing breathing apparatus entered the tunnel and found the other workers some 45 feet and 75 feet from the entrance to the sewer. Unfortunately, the two workers were certified dead on arrival at hospital.

Castle Peak Road, Kowloon

 174. A New Territories taxi at about 07.11 hours on 11th May, 1965 ran off the road near the 15 m.s., Castle Peak Road and dropped more than 100 feet down the hillside trapping the driver and six passengers.

34

Fire Service rescue units were called to the scene and the trapped persons were extricated and raised to the road level by rescue stretchers and lines.

Kowloon Magistracy

     175. At about 10.34 hours on 3rd June, 1965 a group of men accused of armed robbery being escorted into Kowloon Magistracy attempted to escape and in doing so managed to arm themselves and trap six members of the Police Force and two other prisoners in a room. The men then held the Police at bay for 4 hours. Fire Service assistance was called for to force an entry to the trapped Policemen, two of whom had been shot by the escapees. Window bars and grills were cut away by Fire Service personnel under the protection of an armed Police guard. Entry into the room was effected after about 20 minutes work and the captive men were brought to safety. The alleged robbers gave themselves up at 14.35 hours.

Tai Po Road, Sha Tin

176. On 11th July, 1965 a single decker motor bus collided with a dual purpose van causing the latter to overturn. Twelve passengers were trapped in the dual purpose van, and Fire Service personnel extricated these using tirfor (hand winch) equipment and bolt croppers. Ten of the trapped persons sustained only minor injuries (i.e. lacera- tions, scalp wounds, etc.), the eleventh victim was admitted to hospital suffering from internal injuries and the twelfth person was certified dead on arrival at hospital.

Lion Rock, Kowloon

177. During the evening of 21st November, 1965 a 15 year old Chinese youth fell some 150 feet down a ravine near the summit of Lion Rock Hill. The operations involved an exhausting and at times perilous trek over precipitous hillside to reach the casualty. After trekking for several hours Police and Fire Service teams reached the top of the ravine and commenced the 150 feet almost vertical descent to where the boy had fallen. This descent involved amongst other things a right angled traverse across the face of an over-hanging boulder, and the rescue party took nearly 1 hours to reach the boy. Having administered first aid the party then had to descend several hundred feet down precipitous hillside and through mountain scrub carrying the injured boy during which time darkness overtook them. When they arrived back at the point at which they had left their

35

appliances all without exception were cut and bruised and physically exhausted. The boy was admitted to hospital and quickly recovered from his experience.

Mountain Rescue-Lion Rock

 178. Late in the evening of 23rd January, 1966 two Chinese boys became stranded near the summit of Lion Rock (1,893 feet above sea level) and a Fire Service Rescue Team was despatched to search for them.

179. After a dangerous and difficult climb the Fire Service team located the boys shortly after midnight. The boys were stranded on a ledge some 400 feet below the peak of the mountain and two fire officers were lowered down to the ledge. To reach the ledge two 240 ft. lengths of line had to be tied together and as the boys were too exhausted to make the climb back to the summit the officer in charge of the operations decided to attempt to take the boys down the mountain side. The lower section of the rope was released and using this 240 ft. length the officer led the boys down it to a safe position, climbed up again to release the rope from around the tree to which it was tied, and returned to where the boys were waiting. The line was tied to a small tree and the party descended to the next ledge. By this time the officer in charge was extremely fatigued and in negotiating a particularly difficult rock lost his footing and fell 30 feet down the hillside. Realising that it would be impossible for the boys to make any further descent without injuring themselves he warned them to stay where they were and made his way down the mountain side. The journey took some 3 hours, and when he reached the Wong Tai Sin Sanatorium at the Shatin Pass Road he was in extreme pain. Having reported the situation to Mainland Fire Control by telephone he was conveyed to hospital where he was found to have sustained severe injuries to his legs, arms and head.

 180. Shortly after dawn the boys were reached by the R.A.F. Mountain Rescue Team who, with the assistance of helicopters, com- pleted the rescue by 09.09 hours on 24th January, 1966.

Grounded Motor Tanker

 181. During the night of 10th/11th February, 1966 the Liberian motor tanker 'Thomas P.' of 11,000 tons ran aground near the south- east coast of Lamma Island off the western seaboard of Hong Kong, puncturing the forward tanks which contained jet fuel and solvent.

36

Because of the danger of the drifting inflammable liquid the Fire Service was called to the incident during the forenoon of 11th February, 1966, and fire boats were assigned to patrolling the area breaking up oil patches with foam jets and detergents. Hose lines were laid aboard the tanker and foam injected into the damaged tanks to reduce the explosion hazard.

     182. On the morning of 12th February, 1966 a strong easterly wind developed and the sea became so rough that the Master of the tanker ordered all his crew ashore except two or three men who under his command took refuge in a life boat which they moored to the tanker. The Master was kept supplied with refreshments, etc. from the fire boat 'Alexander Grantham' which also provided accommodation and food for those members of the tanker's crew who remained at the incident. So severe was the weather on the 12th that relief crews for fire boat crews could not be changed over for relief until some 3 hours after the scheduled time.

183. The availability of the fire boat 'Alexander Grantham' as a base ship in operations of this nature more than justifies the capital and recurrent expenditure on this vessel.

Gasholder Breakdown-North Point, Hong Kong

184. On the evening of 7th March, 1966 Hong Kong Fire Control received a call to the Hong Kong and China Gas Company at North Point and on arrival the first attending appliances found that a serious leak of gas had occurred from a Wiggins type internally sealed gas- holder caused by the complete collapse of the internal ramp.

     185. The extent of the leak could not immediately be determined, and in consultation with the Company's engineers Fire Service units were deployed round the area as a precaution against the ignition of any escaping gas. With the collapse of the seal there was, of course, a mixture of air and town gas in the tank which may have been in explosive proportions. As the extent of the damage and the leak could not easily be determined an engineer of the Company climbed to the top of the tank to investigate the position. On opening an inspection door he was immediately overcome by gas and in his semi-conscious state, stumbled on the 80 ft. high platform and received a serious blow on the head. Fortunately, the railings prevented from falling to the ground and held him until Fire Service rescue teams, wearing breathing apparatus, reached and brought him safely to the ground. He was taken to hospital by Fire Service ambulance.

37

 186. The Gas Company engineers in consultation with the Fire Service officers then decided that the safest measure was to release the explosive mixture to the air. Fire Service personnel wearing breathing apparatus and supplying breathing apparatus for the Gas Company engineers then made repeated journeys up and down the tank to release various ventilators.

 187. The work was extremely exhausting and mentally trying since, with two men using the same air cylinder, the maximum working time for any man in the vicinity of the escaping gas was 10 to 15 minutes. Much of this time was consumed in journeys to and from, and up and down the gasholder. The Fire Service personnel withdrew from the scene shortly after 05.00 hours when the gasholder was certified to be safe.

38

Mainland Operational Command

Chief Fire and Ambulance Officer

Asst. Chief Fire and Ambulance Officer

Fire Control

APPENDIX I

FIRE AND AMBULANCE SERVICES ORGANIZATION

At 31st March, 1966

Director

Director's Command

Post, Mainland

Director's Command Post Hong Kong

Deputy

Director

Fire Prevention Bureau

Hong Kong & Marine Operational Command

Headquarters Staff Echelon

Clerical Staff Echelon

Chief Fire and Ambulance Officer

Chief Fire Prevention Officer

Principal Staff Officer

Departmental Secretary

Asst. Chief Fire & Ambulance Officer

Principal

Fire Prevention Officer

(General)

Principal Fire Prevention Officer (Training)

Fire Control

New Territories District

Search and Rescue Division

Terminus (TST)

Division

Airport Division

Kowloon City Division

New Territories

West Division

New Territories East Division

Search and Rescue

Central and

Division

Western

Eastern Division

Marine Division

Division

Place of Public Entertainment and Assembly, Restaurants

Miscellaneous School and Timber Stores

Training Establish- ment

New Projects

Fire Services Installations

Physical Education

Staff Auxiliaries Training

Staff Ambulance

Transport, Supplies and Workshops

Communication General

Water Supplies

Statistics

Departmental Quarters

Establishment

General Registry

Finance

Departmental Stores Check

Factories and Industrial Undertakings, Dangerous

Goods

Prosecutions and Complaints

Technical

and Emer-

gency

Planning

APPENDIX II

CAUSES OF FIRES: INCLUDING DEATHS AND INJURIES AT FIRE

FOR THE PERIOD FROM 1.4.65 TO 31.3.66

Causes

No. of Incidents

No. of Deaths and Injuries

944

62

211

5

+

++

Careless handling or disposal of lighted matches,

cigarettes, hot ashes and candles, etc.

Careless handling or disposal of joss-sticks, joss-candles,

firecrackers, joss-papers, mosquito coils, etc.

Hot cinders, sparks and burning soot from foul

chimneys and flues falling on inflammable materials

Over-turned kerosene stoves and oil lamps...

Unattended cooking stoves, heaters, irons

Misuse of dangerous goods

Children playing with matches

Electrical faults generally

Sparks from defective motors

Over-heating of engines, motors and machinery

Boiling-over of oils, tar, wax, etc.

Burst gas mains or pipes

Sparks from welding equipment

Defective cooking stoves

Uncontrolled burning of rubbish

Spontaneous combustion

Suspected arson

Unknown

False alarms

...

Total

+

40

55

4

172

72

39

4

4

2

123

6

686

62

28

5

33

5

...

19

1

·

12

4

:

:

18

2

38

17

7

2

11

13

:

115

162

...

211

2,728

426

Traffic Accidents

APPENDIX III

ANALYSIS OF SPECIAL SERVICES

FOR THE PERIOD FROM 1.4.65 TO 31.3.66

Causes

No. of Incidents

No. of Deaths and

Injuries

118

267

21

14

...

7

:

2

144

17

14

13

10

...

9

...

36

11

45

...

37

2

:

9

17

26

4

...

18

16

...

8

12

32

34

2

3

---

House Collapses

Flooding of domestic premises

Trapped in lifts

Hanging (suicide)

Falling from high buildings

Locked in/out of premises

Falling into harbour/nullah/well

Explosions

Landslides

...

Animal rescues ..

Trapped by machinery

Trapped by debris

Drowning

Electric shock

Blasting operations

Aircraft ...

Threatening to jump from high buildings

Leakage of inflammable liquids

Overcome by gas

Dangerous goods storage

Miscellaneous

Total

...

41

24

2

7

4

6

91

67

·

604

545

1.

Licences

APPENDIX IV

FIRE PREVENTION STATISTICS

(1.4.65-31.3.66)

Dangerous goods Licences issued Timber Stores Licences issued

2.

Dangerous goods Licences renewed

Timber Stores Licences renewed

Total

...

Total

Inspections

(a) Government Buildings-supply of and/or testing fire fighting

(b) Public

...

+++

equipment

Buildings, all types

Cinemas and Theatres

...

Dancing Halls and Dancing Academies

1.0

Dangerous Goods Stores

Factories and Industrial Undertakings

***

Private Fire Service Installations

Fire Works Storages

Garages

Hotels and Boarding Houses

Neon Signs

...

Offensive Trades

Printing Presses

Restaurants and Cafes

Schools

+

Timber Yards and Storages Miscellaneous

...

...

4

...

390

...

31

...

421

3.285

**

296

3,581

535

122

...

304

...

350

***

...

2,108 2,282 902

2

108

...

4 455

27

47

...

1,311

858

+

...

...

736

...

...

7,426

Total

...

...

17,042

3. Supply of fire fighting equipment to Government Buildings

Fire Extinguishers

963

170

***

60

5

1

409

...

Hose

G.I. Buckets

Abesto Blankets

Fire Bell

4.

5.

New Projects

...

*

...

**

Investigation of Complaints relating Fire Service Installations

Plans received and processed

42

1,430 sets

6.

APPENDIX IV-Contd.

Offences and Prosecutions

Fire Hazard Abatement Notices issued

Fire Hazard Abatement Prosecutions Timber Stores Prosecutions

Dangerous Goods Prosecutions

Miscellaneous

...

++

+

..+

7.

Revenue

Dangerous Goods Licences

...

Timber Stores Licences

Fines

...

Confiscated Dangerous Goods

...

...

...

Total

...

...

...

*

5,018

207 cases

22

98

5

>>

>>

CC

...

$459,831.50 32,600.00 34,915.00 10,720.00

$538,066.50

APPENDIX V

SUMMARY OF APPLIANCES AND MAJOR EQUIPMENT AT FIRE

STATIONS AND OTHER PREMISES AT 31ST MARCH, 1966

Turntable Ladders

Rescue Tenders

Pump Escapes

Pumps

...

...

Extra Heavy Pumps

Land Rovers

Portable Pumps

Trailer Pumps

Canteen Vans

***

Mobile Repair Vans

Mobile Generators

...

...

...

...

...

...

...

...

...

***

Mobile Compressors Mobile Command Units Emergency Tenders Foam Tenders ... Hose Laying Appliances Hose Carrying Lorries General Purpose Lorries Hydrant Vans

Radio Vans Command Cars Staff Cars

Motor Cycles

D

...

...

..

...

...

...

¦ ¦

:

...

...

---

...

4

+

++

...

...

--

***

***

...

...

...

+

LI

:

::

::

...

:

...

..

-

+

...

:

+

11

2

16

21

4

21

+

17

***

++

22

2

2

2

2

3

2

2

2

5

2

17

1

4

4

***

6

43

APPENDIX V-Contd,

Motor Scooters Outboard Motors

Rescue Craft

Ambulances

Sitting Case Cars

Foam Cannons

Light Rescue Appliances

...

+++

Ladder and Hose Carrying Lorries

...

...

...

Breathing Apparatus

Oxygen

Compressed Air Resuscitating Sets Skin Diving Sets

*

4" Relay Hose 23" Delivery Hosc 11" Hose

***

***

Hose

...

...

...

...

...

...

...

...

...

+++

.

9

3

6

51

5

4

3

3

46

143

64

11

8 miles

60 miles

7 miles

Alexander Grantham

No. 3

No. 2 No. 1

+

Fire Service:

·

...

***

Fire Boats

...

351 gross tons, 10,000 g.p.m. 40' launch, 500 g.p.m.

94 gross tons, 4,000 g.p.m.

45' high speed launch, 1,000 g.p.m.

Very High Frequency Radio

Frequencies: 82.5: 48.1: 48.15: 48.2: 48.3: 48.4: 48.5

Fixed Stations

Mobile Sets

Walkic/Talkie Sets

Ambulance Service:

Fixed Stations

Mobile Stations

***

***

...

...

...

...

-

Fire Stations, Buildings and Quarters

...

...

: :

...

=**

11

84

24

3

19

...

Temporary Premises Departmental Quarters:

Officers Rank and File

Fire Stations

...

...

...

...

...

44

4

...

...

...

...

10

2223

222

26

APPENDIX VI

WORKSHOPS STATISTICS

New Appliances, Ambulances and Vehicles put into service 1965-66

Pump-P-9, P-20, P-21 (E.H.P.)

Pump Escape--PE-7

Land Rover LR-15

...

Portable Pump-PP-18, PP-19...

'Volkswagen' Ambulance-HK8963, HK8964, HK8965,

HK8966, HK8972, HK8973

'Volkswagen' Sitting Case Car-8310 ...

'Vauxhall' Estate Car-8475, 8476, 8477, 8479

'Bedford' Lorry-8291

'Austin 7' Van-8070, 8493

'Vespa' Motor Scooter-A229, A232, A234

'Ford 100' Light Rescue Unit

...

'Commer' Hose and Ladder Carrying Appliance

*

...

:.

Total

...

:

:

:

:

:

Miscellaneous

Mileage by all appliances and vehicles...

Fuel Consumption (appliances and vehicles)

Pumping Time

Monthly Servicing

Repairs and Modifications (mechanical and electrical)

Body, ladder and general joinery

***

Canvas items for service generally

3

1

1

2

6

1

4

1

2

3

3

1

28

1,031,623 miles

86,810 gallons

1,128 hours

+

716 items

+

Hose repairs and tests to

Repainting appliances and equipment painting

Appliances

Equipment

Fire and ankle boot repairs

Alterations and repairs to uniform

:

:

串串

Drivers, pump and turntable ladder operators (including

auxiliaries) tested and licensed

Accidents to all vehicles

***

45

:

:

1,714 jobs

407 jobs

127 items

1,701 lengths

19 jobs

89 jobs

3,334 pairs

142 jobs

684

131

46

Command

APPENDIX VII

AUTHORIZED ESTABLISHMENT OF PERSONNEL FOR 1965-66

Personnel

Deputy Director

| Director

Chief Fire and Ambulance Officer

Assistant Chief Fire and

Ambulance Officer

Chief Staff Officer, Auxiliarics

Assistant Chief Staff Officer, Auxiliaries

Senior Fire Officer Class I

Senior Fire Officer Class II

Fire Officer Class I

Fire Officer Class II

Fire Officer Class III

Assistant Group Officer

(Woman), Auxiliaries

Principal Fireman

Senior Fireman

Leading Fireman

Fireman Class I

Fireman Class II

Physical Training Officer

❘ Secretary

|

Executive Officer

Accountant

Clerical Service

Watchman, Caretaker

Stores Staff

Draughtsman

Labourers

Cooks

Ambulance Dressers

| Telephonists

Total All Ranks

| |

Fire Services H.Q.,

Workshops, Stores, Training School, Fire Prevention Bureau, Staff and Miscellaneous

Hong Kong Island and Marine Command

Mainland Command

(including New Territories District)

.Whole Time 'Auxiliaries

Whole Time Auxiliaries

Whole Time Auxiliaries

Whole Time

1

11

| |

Ambulance Service

Total

Whole Time Auxiliaries

1 1 3 2

8 20 53 -

2

6 5

6 73 1 12. 135 6 1 218 2 2

223

3

22

24 36

386

31 36 59 59

496

279

3 20-30

3335

38

37 48 61 107

773

284

up

6 20 27-

5 5:38 48

2 6 8 31 47|

なま

5 33 44

IN

2

719 22.71 129

22

229

2 11 12 73 92

60

234

52

74 95 127 232|| 1,576|| 1| 1| 2 152 6 1 234 2 252 2,515 6 44 66

592

900

al

**

-

APPENDIX VIII A

LECTURES TALKS AND COURSES GIVEN BY FIRE PREVENTION

BUREAU DURING THE YEAR ENDING 31ST MARCH, 1966

Date

Nature of Lecture

Place of Lecture

Language of Lecture

No. of Audience

Type of Audience

Remarks

6.5.65.

Methods in operation of fire Re-entry Permit Office, Reclama- Chinese

extinguishers.

tion, Hong Kong.

6

Staff of the office.

17.5.65.

Types of fires. Methods in Junior Officers' Training School, Chinese

operation of fire extinguishers. Harcourt Road Fire Station.

5

Staff of Tai On Works and

Harriman Realty Co.

Fire Prevention.

25.5.65.

Fire Prevention at Home.

Chatma Building.

Chinese

600

Residents of the whole building.

26.5.65.

Operation of fire extinguishers. Passenger Transport Survey ¡Chinese

Staff of the office.

Office, Hong Kong.

31.5.65.

Basic Fire Fighting

Junior Officers' Training School, Chinese

Harcourt Road Fire Station.

12

Bank Guard of Hong Kong and

Shanghai Banking Corpora- tion.

11.6.65.

Fire Prevention and Fire Drill

The Helena May Institute for English

Women

60

Residents of the Institute

20.6.65.

General Fire Fighting

Wong Tai Sin Catholic School Chinese

61

Boyscouts and Girl Guides

22.6.65.

Basic Fire Fighting

Junior Officers' Training School, Chinese

Harcourt Road Fire Station

12

Staff of Hong Kong and Shang-

hai Banking Corporation

13.7.65.

Fire Extinguishers and Fire Ser-Royal Interocean Lines Building English and

vice Installations

Chinese

23

Staff of the Royal Interocean

Lines

21.7.65.

General Fire Prevention

Junior Officers' Training School, Chinese

Harcourt Road Fire Station

1

Laboratory Assistant of Queen

Elizabeth School

23.7.65.

Fire Prevention

Training Establishment, Prin- Chinese

cipal Fire Station (Island)

3

Field Officers of Agriculture and.

Fisheries Department

29.7.65.

Fire Services Training

St. Rose of Lima's School

English

27

The Duke of Edinburgh's Award To be cont'd

(Girls' Award).

on Aug.,

65.

47

48

Date

Nature of Lecture

APPENDIX VIII A-Contd.

Place of Lecture

Language of Lecture

No. of Audience

Type of Audience

Chinese

60

Nurses and Staff of the hospital

Remarks

18.8.65.

Fire Drill and Demonstration Fanling Hospital

on extinguishers

4.8.65.

12.8.65.

17.8.65.

19.8.65.

|Fire Service Course

St. Rose of Lima's School

English

29

Girls of the Duke of Edinburgh's

Scheme (H.K.)

24.8.65.

26.8.65.

7.9.65.

14.9.65.

Fire Drill and Lecture on Fire Macao Wharf Immigration

Extinguishers and Evacua- Department tion Procedure

Fire Drill and Lecture Extinguishers and tion Procedure

Chinese

36

Staff

on Fire Chuk Yuen Children Reception Chinese Evacua- Centre

20

Staff and Nurses

17.9.65.

Basic Fire-fighting

P. & O. Building

Chinese

20

Staff

6.10.65.

Basic fire-prevention

14.10.65.

Fire Prevention in H.K.

Lead Mine Pass Forest Post

Kwun Tong Lutheran School

Chinese

18

Forest Guards

Chinese

400

Students and Teachers

9.11.65.

Fire Prevention and demonstra- Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club Chinese

tion of Fire Extinguishers

50

Trainers and Guards

25.11.65.

Fire Prevention and demonstra- Chuk Yuen Children's Recep-Chinese

tion of Fire Extinguishers

tion Centre

10

Staff and Nurses

13-14.12.65. Fire Prevention and Fire Extin-Baptist Hospital

Chinese

30

Nurses and Staff

guishers' demonstration

28-29.12.65. Fire Prevention

Confucian Tai Shing School

¡Chinese

1,200

Students and Teachers

29.12.65.

Fire Prevention and Fire Extin- Evangel Medical Centre

guishers' demonstration

Chinese and English

20

Nurses and Staff

Total Lectures: 24

Total At-

tendance:

2,711

APPENDIX VIII B

SUMMARY OF COURSES, LECTURES, TALKS,

VISITS GIVEN BY OPERATIONAL COMMANDS

DURING THE YEAR ENDING 31.3.1966

Lectures given to private agencies

Visits by Fire Services personnel to

272(7094)

243(600)

...

190(614)

...

+

239(447)

48(766)

(a) Industrial undertakings

(b) Commercial undertakings

Residential premises

Visits by members of Public to Fire Stations ...

Courses attended by Fire Services personnel:

(a) Refresher courses...

(6) Initial Training Courses (F.O. III)

(c) Initial Training Courses (Rank and File)

(d) Driving/Pump operating courses

(e) Diving courses

**

(ƒ) B.A. courses

...

(g) Miscellaneous

23(420)

1(11)

...

14(204)

30(255)

***

4(25)

::.

28(315)

10(104)

...

104

+

7(146)

No. of courses conducted by Fire Services for private organisations (i.e.

Bank guards, Thai Fire Officers, etc.)

Note: Number of persons participating is shown in brackets.

49

50

1964-65

LIABILITIES

APPENDIX IX

FIRE SERVICES DEPARTMENT

WELFARE FUND

BALANCE SHEET AS AT 31ST MARCH, 1966

$154,790.52 Accumulated fund as at 1.4.65.. $184,428.47

29,637.95

$184,428.47

Add: Excess of Income over

Expenditure for the

year ended 31.3.65

3,615.70 Sundry Creditors

:

Deposits:

14,121.78

Firemen's Services

$202,165.95

1964-65

ASSETS

$ 22,488.50 Outstanding Loans

51,240.63

10,786.09 Sundry Debtors

4,729.31 Stocks

+

$ 32,186.65

+

12,692.42 1,558.12

$235,669.10 1,957.70

Investment at Cost

Less: Accumulated

depreciation

$ 14,596.40

4,516.40

10,320.00

10,080.00

9,172.00

Cash:

On Fixed Deposits...

With Accountant General... 90,281.61

444

$100,000.00

153,842.05

$246,798.80

$202,165.95

J. MILNER,

Director of Fire Services. 10th May, 1966.

190,281.61

$246,798.80

CERTIFICATE OF THE DIRECTOR OF AUDIT

The above Balance Sheet and the accompanying Statements have been examined in accordance with Regulation 11(2) of the Fire Services Department (Welfare Fund) Regulations, 1954. I have obtained all the information and explanations that I have required, and I certify, as a result of this audit, that in my opinion the Balance Sheet and Statements are correct.

AUDIT DEPARTMENT,

15th August, 1966.

P. T. WARR, Acting Director of Audit.

51

APPENDIX IX-Contd.

FIRE SERVICES DEPARTMENT

WELFARE FUND

INCOME AND EXPENDITURE ACCOUNT FOR THE YEAR ENDED 31ST MARCH, 1966

EXPENDITURE

INCOME

1964-65

1964-65

$22,580.00 Recompensing members for extra services ...

$ 27,464.00

$ 375.00 Fines

34,746.74

Procuring for members who are serving or for former members who have been retired on pension, gratuity or other allowance, comforts, convenience or other advantages not chargeable to public revenue...

79,651.70 Fees for Firemen's Services

4,588.95 Donations

D

28,114.14

131.10

2,016.00 Remission of Fees for Firemen's Services ...

Net loss on revaluation of Christmas Cards...

5.00 Suspense Account written off

2.00 Net gain on sale of Fire Protection year Book

Net gain on sale of Firemen's Manuals

Interest

On Investments

On Fixed Deposits...

280.00 Depreciation on investments...

240.00

4,779.14

29,637.95

Balance being excess of income over

expenditure

51,240.63

$ 378.18

99,324.68

740.80

.12

$ 490.00 6,124.99

6,614.99

$89,396.79

$107,058.77

$89,396.79

$107,058.77

52

APPENDIX IX-Contd.

FIRE SERVICES DEPARTMENT

WELFARE FUND

STATEMENT OF OUTSTANDING LOANS AS AT 31ST MARCH, 1966

1964-65

$18,329.40

$25,398.00

Outstanding Loans as at 1st April, 1965

...

...

$22,488.50

Loans issued for period from 1st April, 1965 to 31st March, 1966.....

Less: Loans converted to grants

$32,123.00

1,030.79

...

25,398.00

$43,727.40

21,238.90

$22,488.50

31,092.21

$53,580.71

Repayment of Loans for period from 1st April, 1965 to 31st March, 1966

21,394.06

Outstanding Loans as at 31st March, 1966

$32,186.65

...

Statement of Investment as at 31st March, 1966

Middle

Accumulated

Net

Stock

Nominal Value

Market

Cost

Depreciation

Price at

Market Value

at 1.4.65

31.3.66

Depreciation Accumulated Depreciation

H.K. Government 34%

Rehabilitation Loan

1973-78

$16,000.00

$14,596.40

$4,276.40

$63.00

$10,080.00

$240.00 $4,516.40

Amount Deposited

Date Deposited

Interest Rate

APPENDIX IX-Contd.

FIRE SERVICES DEPARTMENT

WELFARE FUND

STATEMENT OF FIXED DEPOSIt as at 31st March, 1966

Hongkong & Shanghai Banking Corporation, Hong Kong Receipt No. 102/448

$20,000.00

27th February, 1966

Hongkong & Shanghai Banking Corporation, Hong Kong Receipt No. 102/574

$20,000.00

13th March, 1966

Wayfoong Finance Limited Receipt No. 100/176

$60,000.00

10th August, 1964

8% per annum

54% per annum

Date Repayable

27th February, 1967

53% per annum

13th March, 1967

10th August, 1968

53

(a) Christmas Cards

10

(b) Queen's Fire Services Medals

(c) Red Art Silk Oakleaf Braid

(d) Firemen's Manuals

(e) Firemen's Helmets

+

(ƒ) Direct Method English Course

VALUE OF STOCK AS AT 31st March, 1966

...

...

·

Total

:

$ 72.20

18.00

1,016.55

25.37

240.00

186.00

$1,558.12

APPENDIX X

(I) DECLARED AIRCRAFT EMERGENCIES ATTENDED

BY AIRPORT CONTINGENT

Crash on sea

Engine Fire

Burst Tyre/Wheel Fire...

Defective landing gear...

Defective controls or hydraulic system

Engine and accessory defect

Defective brakes

Miscellaneous or unspecified...

...

...

Total

...

...

1.

...

...

...

+++

++

1

3

6

12

15

92

1

21

...

154

(11) INCIDENTS OTHER THAN DECLARED AIRCRAFT EMERGENCIES

ATTENDED BY AIRPORT CONTINGENT

Fuel spillage

...

Refuelling/Defuelling standbys

...

...

...

申申

Crosswind Standbys

Visibility Standbys

Domestic Calls...

Taxi-ing accident

Special Service

པཾ--

++

Tail Wind Landing (Wet Runway)

Miscellaneous

...

False Fire Alarm

***

...

...

...

...

...

...

Total

54

+++

:

***

...

:

...

***

..

24

23

572

169

6

+4

...

1

:

3

4

12

...

...

1

815

APPENDIX XI

FIRE SERVICE BUILDING PROGRAMME

Non Standard Projects

Training School, District Headquarter Fire and Ambulance Stations, Shek Kong, N.T. Fire Services Headquarter, Stores and Workshops

Canton Road-District Headquarter and Urban Support Station Hennessy Road-District Headquarter, and Urban Support Station Junk Bay Fire Station (Joint Government Project)

Standard Projects

***

100

:

:

:

:

Estimated year of completion

1967/68

1966/67

1967/68

1968/69

1969/70

1966/67

1966/67

1966/67

:

1966/67

1+1

1

1967/68

1967/68

:

1967/68

:

:

P

:

:

:

:

1967/68

1967/68

1967/68

1968/69

1968/69

...

1968/69

1968/69

1968/69

1968/69

1968/69

***

1968/69

1968/69

1969/70

1969/70

1970/71

:

1970/71

***

***

1970/71

1970/71

***

+

1971/72

Shaukiwan Fire Station*

Western Fire Station*

Ngau Chi Wan Fire Station*

Tai Po Fire Station*

Hung Hom Fire Station*

+

Princess Margaret Road Fire Station*

Cheung Sha Wan Fire Station*

Sheung Shui Fire Station*

Sai Kung Fire Station

+++

Castle Peak 'A' Fire Station†

Kotewall Road Fire Station Causeway Bay Fire Station*

       Quarry Bay Fire Station* Stanley Fire Station*

Kowloon Tong Fire Station*

Kwai Chung Fire Station*

Wong Tai Sin Fire Station*

:

...

W

:.

:

:

***

:

***

*

***

申唱

***

.:.

:

:

***

:

***

***

T

**

+

4

**

+++

***

*

Sheung Wan Fire Station (Joint Government Project)

***

+

++

---

:

:

Shatin 'A' Fire Station

Kau Wa Fire Station*

Yaumati Fire Station*

J

4

***

+

:

:

:

***

Fanling Fire Station* Repulse Bay Fire Station* Peak Fire Station

Shek O Fire Station*

Castle Peak 'B' Fire Station* Shatin 'B' Fire Station*

...

:

:

:

--

+

:

:

:

:

:

:

Ambulance Depots

:

1971/72

Morrison Hill Ambulance Depot* Ma Tau Chung Ambulance Depot* Ho Man Tin Ambulance Depot* Shek Kong Ambulance Depot

Note:-

:

* means new standard Fire Station/Rank and File Quarters projects. † (Replacement for) San Hui Fire Station.

1966/67

1966/67

1968/69

1967/68

55