The fire chief yesterday promised that the outsourcing of some non-urgent ambulance services would not affect the jobs of ambulancemen, who will stage a protest at the opening of the World Firefighters Games tomorrow. The Ambulancemen's Union is planning a 24-hour hunger strike on Saturday to protest against plans to let the Auxiliary Medical Service take over non-urgent tasks such as hospital transfers. The union is worried it would be the first step in dissolving their branch and strongly opposes it. But Fire Services director Joe Kwok Jing-keung insisted yesterday that the worries were unfounded. 'The number of ambulancemen would not be reduced because of the plan; there will actually be an increase to their number this year.' It is expected that the department will hire almost 90 ambulancemen in this year's recruitment drive. The union wants to stage the hunger strike and also hand a petition to Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen when he attends tomorrow's opening ceremony of the 9th World Firefighters Games at the Tamar site. Hong Kong is the first Asian city to host the event, regarded as a mini-Olympics for firemen. More than 3,300 firemen and their relatives from 37 countries will take part in the games. The games' budget is estimated to be running at a $2 million surplus and the Fire Services Department said any money left over would be donated to charity. Fire department deputy director Gregory Lo Chun-hung said the games would cost about $9 million, with about $11 million secured in corporate sponsorship and entrance fees from participants. Among the highlights will be the Toughest Firefighter Alive, which tests fitness to the limit, a run up the 88-storey Two IFC in Central, a fire engine driving competition and dragon boat races. The public can watch the events at various venues across the city free of charge.