Testing times in training
All newly recruited station officers (operations) must undergo six months of intensive training in firefighting and rescue at the Fire Services Training School in Pat Heung.
Like other disciplined services, training involved drills and marching, said Queenie Yeung Ching-man.
There are courses on fire regulations and fire safety ordinances for commercial and residential buildings in addition to fire prevention techniques, and other fire station operational procedures. 'It's mainly memorising ... weekly tests were held to assess our progress,' she said.
Classroom studies were interspersed with plenty of physical training so that all newly recruited station officers reached the level of fitness required, she said. 'I often found myself spending extra time on physical training while male recruits would focus on their studies.'
She was under pressure to perform up to standard in the monthly physical test as recruits had to leave immediately if they failed these tests.
After completing the course, Ms Yeung was assigned to work at several stations in the New Territories and urban areas as a probationary station officer (operations) and received on-the-job training.
Her performance was assessed constantly during probation, she added. The areas assessed include presentation skills, as she is responsible for organising and giving talks to update frontline personnel on occupational health, and other job-related topics. The department organised practical tests to appraise her organisational skills and capability during operations, Ms Yeung said.
Various divisions organised courses to update others on their latest developments and operational procedures, she added.