Must have task force

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 24 September, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 24 September, 1997, 12:00am

I hope that following the inquiry into the Garley Building fire, the Fire Services Department (FSD) will give serious consideration to strengthening its rescue operations, in particular, with regard to the evacuation of fire escapees from buildings' windows.

In two major fires, that of Garley Building and the Mei Foo Sun Chuen blaze, there was a need for the FSD to resort to other rescue means in order to speed up the evacuation of these escapees other than using extending ladders from the fire truck.

The department should consider setting up a task force to deal with this kind of evacuation. Members of the unit should undergo special training in wall climbing and be equipped with handy climbing tools such as rope-ladders, portable short ladders and safety ropes to help them transport escapees from windows of one floor to another.

If there is a task force that can carry out a faster, more flexible and effective evacuation operation, then the fatalities arising from escapees being burned to death in front of windows or forced to jump out of windows can be minimised.