25 · Through thick and thin | Saving lives from danger, firefighter Cheung Ka-fat says 'It's the life I want'
Whenever an emergency occurs, firefighters always rush in the opposite direction of the crowd, seizing every second to save lives from danger. Hong Kong firefighter Cheung Ka-fat said, "It is the life I want to safeguard the city."
Twenty-five years ago, he was born in HK on July 2, the day after HK's return to the motherland. 25 years on, he has grown up together with the SAR and has chosen to spend his life protecting this city.
Cheung joined the Fire Services Department in January 2021 as a Probationary Station Officer and was allocated to the Kai Tak Fire Station.
Being the only son in the family, Cheung's career choice once worried his mother, as firefighters often have to carry out extremely dangerous tasks. To dispel her concerns, Cheung took her to a Fire Station Open Day with him. During the tour, her mother was reassured by the firemen's detailed description of their daily work and the comprehensive fire-fighting facilities and protective equipment, and gave her son the go-ahead to apply for the position.
Stationed at Kai Tak, Cheung took up the post of pumper supervisor. Whenever a call came in, they had to stop what they are doing and go out as quickly as possible, whether they are having a meal, taking a shower or even using the toilet. During fire-fighting operations, Cheung acts as second-in-command on the scene, directing the team to supply water and enter the fire scene to assist in the rescue.
As a frontline officer, Cheung has dragged people out of danger, but he has also faced the inability to save lives. In March this year, a fire broke out in a flat in Tsz Ching Estate, Wong Tai Sin, and more than 200 residents had to be evacuated. Amidst the smoke, Cheung and his teammates quickly extinguished the fire and lifted an old man from his bedroom who was in a coma. Unfortunately, the joy of rescuing the victim from the fire did not last long, as the old man died soon after being rushed to hospital, Cheung recalled with a deep sense of regret in his tone.
This incident has given Cheung a deeper understanding of firefighting: Although he never knows when a crisis will occur, he can at least do his best to equip himself at all times, so that when a crisis occurs, he can immediately rise up at the front line to protect the public.
The young fire captain may appear a little shy in daily life, but when he talks about his job, his eyes spark, "I want to serve in the fire department for the rest of my life."