AN emergency taskforce of more than 600 medical volunteers has received $500,000 worth of new equipment to help save lives if there is a major disaster. The equipment will enable emergency teams to administer more effective resuscitation treatment at the scene rather than wait for the victim to arrive at hospital. But the Emergency Response Taskforce, set up in September 1992 under the Auxiliary Medical Services Corps (AMS), has yet to use its emergency training because no disaster has been big enough to warrant it swinging into action. A team got as far as Kai Tak airport last November, when a China Airlines jet skidded off the runway into the nullah - but the final count of 10 casualties was not enough to require the volunteers to put any of their training into action. A nurse and midwife from the Princess Margaret Hospital, Cheng Siu-king, gives up one night a fortnight for training as a taskforce member. She was on stand-by during a repatriation flight of Vietnamese to China, but was required only to treat a feverish child. ''In my heart I didn't want anything to happen,'' she said. The new equipment includes 12 defibrillators, intravenous drips, tracheostomy sets - for cutting blocked windpipes - and updated versions of a mobile resuscitation machine. Previous life-saving equipment involved less efficient machines, said assistant commissioner (staff) Joannes Luk Wai-hung. The AMS also has a computer link with an Australian network to learn more about how disasters are handled elsewhere. The AMS is also involved in non-emergency work. Its 5,258 auxiliaries provide first aid at festivals such as the fireworks show during the Lunar New Year celebrations. , during dragon boat races, in country parks and at public functions, said chief staff officer Anthony Lok Cham-choi.