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Medical Unit GFS (Aux): 20th Anniversary Seminar

C3.2 Search and Rescue – Together with the Medical Unit

Mr Albert KC Hong
Ex-Senior Auxiliary Member (Auxiliary), Hong Kong Government Flying Service

An air traffic controller by profession who served the Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department for 35 years, Mr Albert KC Hong enlisted in the former Royal Hong Kong Auxiliary Air Force as a volunteer in 1987. Retired in 2020 as the Head of Government Flying Service Auxiliary Section, he had the unique experience of being one of the aides-de-camp to the last two colonial governors and the first Chief Executive Officer of HKSAR. He was awarded the Government Flying Service Medal for Distinguished Service in 2019 for exemplary contribution to the Hong Kong Community as a citizen-airman.

Having received advanced training as a Search and Rescue Coordinator in 1989 from the United State Coast Guard National Search and Rescue School and followed by the Canadian Coast Guard College, he was deeply involved in Search and Rescue (SAR) training and exercises during his tenure with the Civil Aviation Department and the Government Flying Service. He also completed Emergency Response Management training from the Australian Emergency Management Institute.

To Search and to Rescue, the purpose is to save lives. The case began with the sounding of an alarm indicating that an aircraft is in danger and life is being threaten. Follow up action is needed.

The mounting up of a Search and Rescue (SAR) mission requires careful planning and coordination. In this presentation, we will look into the details on how a SAR mission coordinator works out the plan and execute the mission under time critical situation. Consideration will be given to the available information on the incident and resources that can be deployed to take action.

The difference in environmental and weather condition dictates the approach and methods to be used. There are a series of factors to be considered. In the discussion we will highlight such issues and the capability of aircrew to be carried for the mission. The inclusion of Medical Team members on board would greatly enhance the life saving capability and pre-hospital care for the casualties. Cooperation between the aircrew and medical team is highly essential.

A SAR mission does not terminate at the point when the casualties are being recovered and sent off for medical treatment. The case has to go through documentation and follow up on legal aspect as needed. The media also take up an important role to duly inform the public. The relationship between the parties will be clearly illustrated.

This session provides an insight on how a SAR case is being evaluated and responded to with the ultimate goal of life saving through cooperation of ATC personnel, SAR Units and Medical Teams.

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