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Northbound car travel scheme refined

The Transport Department today announced a refinement to the vehicle inspection arrangement for applications concerning Northbound Travel for Hong Kong Vehicles.   As agreed by Guangdong and Hong Kong authorities, from March 1, vehicle inspections will be exempted if the applicant and the vehicle remain unchanged when resubmitting applications for Northbound Travel for Hong Kong Vehicles within two years of passing the vehicle inspection and within the validity of the applicant’s electronic vehicle licence from Mainland authorities.   Currently, applicants for the travel scheme are required to conduct vehicle inspections at designated locations in Hong Kong. http://dlvr.it/T3SSfq

Fire services review issued

The Fire Services Department today said it responded to 93.8% of building fire calls in 2023 within the graded response time, surpassing the 92.5% response rate outlined in its performance pledge.

 

Issuing the department’s year-end review, the department said there were a total of 36,103 fire calls in 2023, an increase of 3.8% compared with the previous year.

 

Nine of those calls involved fires equating to a No.3 alarm or above, four more than in the previous year. One of these was a No. 4 alarm fire at a construction site on Middle Road, Tsim Sha Tsui.

 

In all there were 40,763 special services calls in 2023, representing an increase of 15.4% over the previous year.

 

When Hong Kong was hit by its worst rainstorm in 500 years, in September, the department received nearly 800 special services calls, 2.5 times more than usual.

 

Another significant moment in the year came in the wake of the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Türkiye last February. The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government deployed a 59-strong search and rescue team to the country to assist in relief efforts, and the team succeeded in rescuing four survivors.

 

The department also renewed its efforts in expanding exchange and collaboration with counterparts on the Mainland and overseas in 2023.

 

In addition to co-organising emergency rescue exercises and seminars, Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau jointly established the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Fire & Rescue Knowledge Management Platform.

 

The platform facilitates sharing of operational expertise and firefighting and rescue strategies, as well as information such as notifications about the latest fire and ambulance courses, all of which strengthens interconnectivity and mutual communication within the region.

 

Looking ahead, the department is partaking in the implementation of the Greater Bay Area Emergency Response & Rescue Operational Plan, and will sign a co-operation framework agreement on it this year.

 

It expects to recruit 727 personnel for its fire and ambulance streams this year, including 145 at officer rank.


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