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Fire Officers distribute the fire prevention leaflets to the citizens.

Fire Services of Macao SAR, China

Macao consists of Macao Peninsula, Taipa Island and Coloane Island. It became a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China on 20th December 1999. It covers an area of about 30 square kilometers with a population of 646,800 people. In 2009, the Macao SAR Government was able to lease an area of 1.09 square kilometers of Hengqin Island from the Chinese Central Government to pave way for the long-term development of the University of Macau.

Since the establishment of Macao Special Administrative Region, Macao has achieved rapid social and economic development. The city boasts a diversity of tourist attractions, such as the Historic Centre of Macao inscribed on the UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 2005. In addition, many large-scale international events are held in Macao annually to allow visitors to experience wealth of entertainment in the city, such as Macao Grand Prix, Parade through Macao, Latin City”, Macao International Fireworks Display Contest, etc. As a meeting point of Eastern and Western cultures, Macao attracted over 30 million visitors in 2015.

Fire Officers distribute the fire prevention posters to the caretakers.

Fire Officers distribute the fire prevention posters to the caretakers.

Fire Services is an emergency unit which provides a wide range of fire and rescue services due to hazards, including fire, flood and building collapse. The Fire Services is also responsible for ambulance service and fire-fighting coverage for the airport in the city. With 1589 recruit quotas, the Fire Services is staffed by well-trained fire personnel from senior commanders to firefighters.

There are eight fire stations, including two airport fire stations, which are equipped with around 200 fire appliances in Macao. To cope with the future development of the society, additional potential sites are going to be developed in the near future.

In 2015, the Fire Services responds to around 41,000 emergency calls for ambulance service, together with around 1000 fire calls. The performance pledge of the Fire Services is to activate emergency response within one minute after receiving an emergency call and to arrive on the scene within six minutes during normal traffic flow. The performance target is to achieve the above graded response times in 95 per cent of all calls. In fact, the Fire Services meets the performance pledge in 99 per cent of all calls.

Exhibition of the Chinese and British pumpers used in the old days.

Exhibition of the Chinese and British pumpers used in the old days.

There are more than 700 exhibits in the Museum.

There are more than 700 exhibits in the Museum.

Fire Prevention is the top priority of the Fire Services. In line with the policy objective targeted in the area of public security, “To be responsible to the people, to work in closer partnership with the community and enhance public relations”, the Fire Services is committed to strengthening communication with citizens, schools and community to enhance fire safety awareness of the public. The Fire Services organizes various promotional and educational activities on fire prevention on a regular basis with the aim of reducing fire risk and occurrence of emergency incidents, such as fire safety talks, evacuation drills and practical training on proper operation of fire extinguisher. In 2015, through extensive publicity conducted by the Fire Services, the occurrence of fire accidents dropped by 12.9 per cent, which mainly included burning joss paper and forgetting to switch off cooking appliances etc. The reducing number of fire accidents has shown that the fire safety alertness of the public has increased.

Fire Services Museum is one of the not-to-be missed destinations for visitors in Macao. The museum is located in a fire station built in 1920s in the Macao Peninsula, housing more than 700 exhibits in two halls, which include Chinese and British pumpers used in the old days, fire services uniforms, fire and rescue equipment, as wells as displaying information about the history of the Fire Services over the past 133 years.

For more information, go to www.fsm.gov.mo/cb/

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Asia Pacific Fire, Editor