For information on 2 December 1996

LegCo Panel on Security
Proposed legislation related to
the Civil Aid Services and the Auxiliary Medical Services


This paper informs Members of our proposals to introduce new legislation for Civil Aid Services (CAS) and the Auxiliary Medical Services (AMS).


2 The CAS’s main role is to support government departments in tackling emergency situations. Their functions include -

  1. To perform duties during tropical cyclones, landslips and flooding;
  2. To search for, and rescue, people trapped in collapsed buildings;
  3. To fight forest fires and patrol country parks;
  4. To manage refugee camps;
  5. To combat oil pollution at sea;
  6. To carry out crowd control duties;
  7. To perform mountain rescue operations; and
  8. To provide marshalling services at charity fund-raising activities and other public functions.

3 The AMS provide supplementary resources to augment regular medical and health services in times of natural disasters and emergencies. Their functions include -

  1. To deploy members to accident scenes to provide immediate triage and treatment to the injured;
  2. To provide non-emergency ambulance transfer services;
  3. To render medical and nursing care to patients in both acute and convalescent hospitals;
  4. To provide first aid coverage at major public functions, school activities, country parks and cycle tracks;
  5. To assist in health surveillance and vaccination campaigns; and
  6. To provide education and training concerning safety and first aid to members of the public.

Current Legislation

4 The Essential Services Corps Ordinance (ESCO) (Chapter 197) provides for, inter alia, the establishment and the operation of the CAS and the AMS. The ESCO has now become too generalised for modern day applications. With the passage of time and in keeping with changing needs and requirements of the community, the roles and services of the CAS and the AMS have expanded. The ESCO does not have provisions to describe the current functions of the Services. Nor does it have updated provisions for the training and duties of the members of the services

5 Separate legislation for the Royal Hong Kong Auxiliary Police Force and the Royal Hong Kong Auxiliary Air Force (now Government Flying Service) has already been enacted. The CAS and the AMS are the only two auxiliary services that do not have their own legislation.


6 We propose to introduce separate and updated legislation for the CAS and the AMS to reflect their current services and operations. The main provisions of the proposed legislation are set out in the Annex.

7 When the legislation for the CAS and the AMS is enacted, the ESCO will become obsolete and can be repealed.

Security Branch
November 1996


Main provisions for the new legislation for the CAS and the AMS

The new legislation will cover the following aspects -

  1. Establishment of the Services
  2. Functions of the Services
  3. Organisation and composition of the Services, including volunteers and the cadet units.
  4. Calling out of the Services
  5. Duty and discipline of members
  6. Training of members

Last Updated on 21 August 1998