First-aid plans fuel union ire

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 25 January, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 25 January, 2000, 12:00am

Plans to send more first-aid motorcycles to emergency scenes in an effort to improve response rates could compromise treatment, ambulancemen say.

The Fire Services Department Ambulancemen's Union argues that motorcycles are not well-equipped enough to treat victims in major accidents.

In a paper to be discussed at the Legco security panel meeting on Friday, the Security Bureau says 93.35 per cent of emergency calls between November 1998 and October 1999 were responded to within 12 minutes.

The response time comprises 10 minutes of travel time and two of 'activation', the paper says.

But the union says in its submission to the panel that the department is playing with figures.

'The department has plans to buy eight more first-aid motorcycles. The aim is to shorten the response time. But the quality of treatment given to victims has been compromised,' the union says.

The union says proper treatment is more important than early arrival in big accidents.

The Fire Services Department currently has 13 first-aid motorcycles.