They bring hope and help save lives. But if you ask ambulance staff, they'll tell you it's just part of a day's work.
"I wanted to find a job that allows me to help people," says Fong Wing-yiu, an ambulanceman who joined the Fire Services Department four years ago. "Believing that we are there to save people helps me overcome the difficulties."
The department received an average of 1,800 calls a day and conveyed about 600,000 patients, or casualties, to hospitals last year.
Ambulancemen are usually deployed to carry out pre-hospital care and related duties, such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation and treating wounds.
Applicants need to pass five subjects in the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination, including Chinese and English, or equivalent. They should also be fluent in Cantonese, physically fit and pass a performance test.
"Applications for all positions in the department have reached a high point this year," says Wong Chun-ip, assistant divisional officer 1 for recruitment, training and examination.
"What we look for in candidates is more than their academic background and physical fitness. During the panel interview, those who are able to display a high level of confidence, passion, independence and understanding of the job usually stand out from the rest."
Recruits must undergo a 26-week training course that includes pre-hospital treatment procedures, followed by a three-year probationary period. Permanent appointments can be made once three criteria are fulfilled: passing an exam after the training course, securing a Fire Services driving licence, and passing a physical fitness test. Those with outstanding performances and five to six years' experience can take the emergency medical assistance course. If they pass, they can be in charge of the emergency vehicle.
Some 7,000 job applications were received in March
Of these, 202 candidates were short-listed and recruited