To promote youth development, the Fire Services Department established a new uniformed group, the Fire & Ambulance Services Teen Connect (FAST Connect) last year.
Through a wide range of training programmes and activities, the department hopes to enrich young people’s learning experience and cultivate their positive thinking, law-abiding awareness, self-discipline and team spirit.
One of the large-scale activities is the experiential day held at the Fire & Ambulance Services Academy in Tseung Kwan O.
Some 70 FAST Connect members from three secondary schools spent the day gaining hands on experience of the key services provided by the Fire Services Department.
The youngsters learnt basic firefighting skills.
To fully immerse themselves in the experience, they took turns to wear the hefty firefighter suit to take part in a simulation. They got a real sense of how hard it is to be a firefighter, sweat and all.
The students also found out that to save people in distress and protect the community, mastering first aid skills is important too. Under the guidance of ambulance officers, they practised cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and learnt how to operate an automated external defibrillator.
FAST Connect member Allie Cheng said she especially enjoyed learning CPR as it is a useful skill for the future.
To wrap up their experiential day, the youngsters practised and learnt the basic concept of a Chinese-style foot drill. They were then treated to the department’s Guard of Honour performing a Chinese-style foot drill and holding a flag-raising ceremony.
FAST Connect member Wayne Yau said practising the foot drill was challenging in the summer heat, but he relished the learning opportunity.
“The CPR was quite a new activity to me because I had never done it before, like the Chinese-style foot drill.
“(During the) Chinese-style foot drill, I felt really tired practising under the sun. But it was all worth it.
“The experience did increase my interest in becoming a fireman and an ambulanceman.”
The Fire Services Department established the FAST Connect in December 2021.
The uniformed group has recruited 120 members since its establishment and aims to increase the number of members to 300 in the 2022-23 academic year.
Fire & Ambulance Services Teen Connect Vice President Michael Yung pointed out that the department has long been engaged in promoting youth development. By establishing the new uniformed group, it hopes to nurture young people into a new generation with social commitment, a sense of national identity, passion for Hong Kong as well as international perspectives.
“We hope by enlisting students who completed the Education Bureau’s Enhanced Smart Teen Project into the group, we will be able to reinforce their learning experience, enhance their sense of national identity, help them cultivate positive thinking and hopefully achieve a career orientation effect.”
He added that the department will organise more activities for the members in the future to enrich their learning experience.
“We will organise visits or even attachments to various fire and ambulance units for members to get a glimpse of our daily work. We will also arrange for them to participate in educational activities on community emergency preparedness.
“In the days to come, we also plan to arrange exchange programmes for members to visit the Greater Bay Area so that they can gain first-hand experience of the opportunities in the Greater Bay Area and to learn more about our motherland.”
Mr Yung also thanked the social dignitaries who joined the group as commissioners for providing their support and valuable opinion.