Hong Kong's 2,200 ambulancemen and women today swap their safari-style uniforms of the last 30 years for a new outfit their boss says will be more convenient. Crews yesterday gave the $1.3 million makeover the thumbs-up. The new look features a blue beret resembling that of auxiliary police, a black belt and a white tunic that is to be tucked inside a pair of navy blue trousers. There is also a multi-purpose side pouch for holding first-aid equipment such as scissors and bandages. The uniforms, which cost $172 each, replace the white outfit and peaked cap worn since the early 1970s. Designed with the help of the Clothing Industry Training Authority, the uniform took 18 months to perfect. It is the fourth change of uniform since the ambulance service began. Mak Kwai-pui, Chief Ambulance Officer, said: 'The new outfit makes work more convenient. The beret is better than the cap as it doesn't drop easily when an ambulanceman kneels down. On the whole the uniform looks better and will boost efficiency.' Ambulancewoman Wong Wai-fong, who tried the new outfit on yesterday, said: 'It feels more comfortable and it's cooler.' Image consultant Tina Liu Tin-lan said the uniform was effective in building a smart and clean image for the wearer, but could cause confusion. 'It looks quite similar to other official uniforms such as the auxiliary police and people may find it hard to tell the difference,' she said.