Rescues and research take up Civil Aid Service worker's time Raymond Hui Kin-hi will never forget the night of August 26, when he led the first rescue team to reach a downed government helicopter on a Lantau hillside. It was carrying Government Flying Service airmen Peter Pang Fu-kwok and Dickson Chan Man-tik. 'My team was the first to reach the scene after two hours searching. When we found the two pilots, we knew that nothing could be done to save them,' said Mr Hui, 27, head of the volunteer mountain rescue team under the government's Civil Aid Service (CAS). 'I didn't know them personally, but I have had much co-operation with the Government Flying Service in rescue operations - they are my colleagues and friends. 'I was very sad to see them dead. But when you want to save others in danger, you have to be in danger yourself. It's our job.' Despite this and many other close calls during his eight years with the rescue service, Mr Hui, a Sars vaccine researcher who is now pursuing a doctorate degree in zoology at the University of Hong Kong, said he would never give up his volunteer work. 'I like helping others. It gives me a sense of satisfaction, especially when I save hikers in danger, I feel happy to be doing something,' he said. Mr Hui developed a passion for mountain-climbing while in secondary school. As a university freshman at the age of 19, he decided to put his skills to good use and joined CAS' mountain rescue unit, which specialises in helping hikers caught in danger. Since then, rescue training and standby duties have taken up most of Mr Hui's spare time, which means he has little time to spend with his family and girlfriend. However, he does not mind as he takes his volunteer service seriously. 'The rescue work is as important as my lab research. They are different jobs but have the same role - helping others and saving lives,' he said. 'The difference is that it will take a long time to see the effects of my job in laboratory, while the result of a rescue is immediate, especially in some emergency operations. 'Even one or two minutes' delay can cost a person's life. 'My family and girlfriend understand me. They have given me much support.' He was elected a mountain rescue-team leader last year and became one of the youngest commanders of the CAS. Mr Hui is even busier now with new assignments and preparing lessons to give to fellow rescue volunteers. 'As a team member, I just did what I was told to do, while as a commander I have much more responsibilities. 'I have to be more considerate and take care of my team members,' he said.