On 21 September, during the cable car maintenance period, the company arranged an annual joint rescue exercise with various disciplined services departments, namely the Hong Kong Fire Services Department, the Hong Kong Police Force, the Government Flying Service and the Civil Aid Service. The aim of the exercise was to strengthen cooperation and communication between departments in the event of cable car incidents.
The exercise simulated the detection of unusual signals from the cable car system that triggered a halt to cable car operations. The signals indicated that guests riding in the cable car cabins who felt unwell had asked for help. The Services Operations Department set up an Incident Coordination Centre at Tung Chung and a safety assembly point at Ngong Ping and Tung Chung Hau Wong Temple. With the ground support of the Fire Services and Civil Aid Service, guests were helped to exit the cabins and encouraged them to rest at the safety assembly point.
At the Tung Chung Terminal, a media emergency handling team comprising representatives of different departments practised informing the media of such incidents. Certain staff members acted as journalists, directing numerous requests to the emergency handling team. The handlers were required to keep the situation in order and summarise the media’s questions for the Corporate Affairs Department to answer.
The exercise also tested the effectiveness of Ngong Ping 360’s emergency hotline to handle the incident properly. Colleagues from the Corporate Affairs Department wrote simulated press releases and decided on the appropriate time to disclose information on the incident to the public.
Next, the company held a review meeting with the participating government departments. All parties agreed that the exercise had gone smoothly and looked forward to simulating an even more difficult drill in the following year.