Abseiling Cadre seeks to beef up capability
The Force Abseiling Cadre (FAC) was formed in 2005 to support abseiling related operations. It has 31 members now who are performing a voluntary secondary duty in four operational teams, which are on a 24-hour standby in rotation for planned or emergency turnouts.
To maintain their proficiency and technical competence, the FAC constantly provides training on working at height and internationally recognised rope access techniques. To enhance their professionalism, FAC members have visited various overseas units to receive training and forge closer relations.
For example, in 2008 FAC members visited the Rope Access Teams of both West Yorkshire Police and Merseyside Police in England on training exchanges, and in early 2009, they participated in the "Rope Access and Rescue at Extreme Height Course" in Cumbria, England. Most recently, in February this year, 10 FAC members visited the Metropolitan Police's Rope Access Team in London to participate in a high-level technical exchange programme.
The FAC members not only toured the training facilities of the Rope Access Team in Gravesend, Essex, but also discussed techniques of handling protesters in various situations throughout London. A highlight of the visit was participation in practical training at the Control Tower of Terminal 2 at Heathrow International Airport. Through observation and practical exercises, the FAC members gained an in-depth understanding of the police Rope Access techniques and tactics employed in London.
FAC members have favourable comments on their overseas training. Police Constable Chan Ka-man said: "As a result of the exchange programme, I have enriched my knowledge of police rope access methods and strategies for working at height. I further recognise the different options and understand better the difficulties in dealing with protest tactics, particularly those employed at height."
Another FAC member, Woman Police Constable Luk Wing-han, said: "It was a great experience to take part in the exercises at Heathrow Airport. Since returning to Hong Kong, I have been sharing my experience with other cadre members so that we can all beef up our ability to work at height."
The officer in charge of the Cadre, Senior Inspector (SIP) Wilson Wong, speaking of FAC's programmes for continuous development and improvement, observed: "We are living in an ever-changing society and we need to keep abreast of what is happening in the world. Continuous learning is therefore very important to ensure quality services and professionalism. The FAC believes that knowledge-exchanges and responsiveness to changes help provide a professional capability to work at height."
The FAC's pursuits for continuous learning and efforts to forge a wider network with other agencies around the world are all aimed at enhancing members' ability to develop innovative techniques to meet new challenges.
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