The Fire Services Bureau (CB) has released operational data for the first nine months of 2017, showing that the number of cases related to the CB’s special services increased dramatically in comparison to the same period last year due to Typhoon Hato, which occurred in August.
CB’s special services include assistance in incidents resulting from falling objects and trees, gas leaks and the misuse of dangerous products.
According to David Tsang, first chief of the CB, the required services which spiked during Typhoon Hato was the removal of fallen trees or tree limbs.
The storm reportedly damaged or uprooted as many as 10,000 trees and over 4,000 of those trees were removed or stabilized by the CB.
During the January-September period, a total of 36,511 incidents were lodged and the number of incidents that necessitated firefighters being called out rose to a number 5.3 percent higher than last year’s firefighter call out rate.
As reported by Tsang, the number of incidents when fire alarms were triggered was 758, down 7.11 percent year on year.
The department reported that the main cause of triggered fire alarms were stoves or flames left unattended.
The CB dispatched ambulances 29,816 times, representing an annual increase of 2.4 percent. A total of 41,763 ambulances were dispatched, up 29.3 percent from last year.
One of the biggest increases concerns rescue operations, of which there were 1,205 instances (a 6.07 percent growth), slightly higher than the 1,136 from the first three quarters of 2016.
Tsang stated that “although the increase in ambulance attendance has slowed, the rescue resources are still limited and we call for all of Macau’s public to carefully consider whether the use of an ambulance is appropriate and to save the resources for those who really need it.”
The CB also noted that Macau is still undergoing the typhoon season, and the public should be prepared for winds.
Tsang also stated that with the Chung Yeung Festival approaching on October 28, the public should also make sure to leave no fires on the mountain, which would hopefully prevent the occurrence of mountain fires.
In relation to events on educating the public, the CB organized 120 lectures on fire protection, prevention of abusive use of ambulances and fuel safety, and 12,992 people attended these lectures.
About 32 exercises on the use of fire extinguishers were organized, and these exercises were attended by 1,085 people.
Approximately, 65,401 pamphlets, posters and guides for fire prevention were distributed.
There were also 24 evacuation exercises and other kinds of emergency preparation exercises organized, and 7,590 people participated.