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Working group on LCSD lifeguard deployment starts action

The first meeting of a working group to review the lifeguard deployment plan for Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) swimming venues was held this (August 13) morning.

Chaired by the department's Assistant Director (Leisure Services), Mr Paul Cheung, members of the working group include LCSD officers, pools and beaches front-line managerial staff and lifeguards, as well as representatives from the Hong Kong Life Saving Society.

Mr Cheung expressed his disappointment that the Hong Kong and Kowloon Life Guard's Union had declined the department's repeated invitation to participate in the working group.

"Views and suggestions from the union will always be welcomed," he said, adding that the union would be briefed on the work progress and findings of the working group.

At today's meeting, the working group confirmed its terms of reference:

* To review the principles on lifeguard deployment of public swimming pools and bathing beaches, including basic provision, seasonal requirement of temporary lifeguards and special manpower arrangements for individual pools.

* To assess the effectiveness of the lifeguard deployment plans 2004 for public swimming pools and bathing beaches.

* To make reference to overseas practices on lifeguard deployment and consider the applicability of these practices to similar local facilities.

* To recommend the lifeguard deployment plans 2005 for public swimming pools and bathing beaches.

The priority for reviewing individual aquatic venues was set at the meeting.

The working group will conduct on-site visits to each and every of LCSD's 36 swimming pools and 32 beaches so that members can have a first hand understanding of the lifeguard deployment arrangement and provide practical suggestions on improvement to individual pools.

The visit schedule was worked out at today's meeting which ended with a visit to the Sha Tin Jockey Club Swimming Pool.

It is anticipated that the working group will take about three months' time to complete the thorough study of the LCSD lifeguard manpower establishment plan.

Another working group to study the mechanism to set the salary level of temporary lifeguard will have its first meeting on August 18, 2004.

Ends/Friday, August 13, 2004
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