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Hong Kong St. John Ambulance


Hong Kong St. John Ambulance

Hong Kong St. John Ambulance
Motto For the service of mankind
Formation 1884
Type Charitable organisation
Headquarters St. John Tower, 2 MacDonnell Road, Hong Kong
  • Hong Kong
Official language Cantonese, English
Council Chairman Dr. David L.F. Mok KStJ
Key people Stanley C.H. Ma, Commissioner of St. John's Ambulance Brigade
Leung Chun-ying, President of St. John's Ambulance
Staff 5 600[1]


Hong Kong St. John Ambulance (Chinese: 香港聖約翰救護機構; Jyutping: hoeng1 gong2 sing3 joek3 hong3 gau3 wu6 gei3 kau3; Cantonese Yale: heūng góng sing yeuk hong kau wuh geī kau) is a charitable organisation with a long history stretching back over a century and has been serving the community since 1884. Adhered to its motto, "For the Service of Mankind", the organisation is dedicated to provide first aid and ambulance services in emergency, dental care for the handicapped, and courses of instructions on first aid and home nursing for the general public.


Hong Kong St. John Ambulance Brigade in 1930s
Ambulance depot at 2 Tai Hang Road.
A St John Ambulance is in service in Hong Kong

In Hong Kong, the St. John Ambulance Association was established in 1884, followed by the Ambulance Brigade in 1916 and the Council in 1949.

Since its establishment, St. John in Hong Kong has been operating under the Order of St. John Ordinance Chapter 1047 in the laws of Hong Kong, and in accordance with the regulations given by St. John Headquarters in London with her Majesty the Queen as the Sovereign Head of the Order.

St. John in Hong Kong provided emergency medical service to the Hong Kong military during the Japanese invasion of Hong Kong in December 1941 (World War II). Dr. Wai-Cheung Chau (周懷璋,1893–1965), was present in the battle at Magazine Gap as a medical officer of St John Ambulance. While he was in a car, the person sitting next to him was killed and he was wounded by a bullet through his lung. The blood clot in his lung was with him for the rest of his life.[2][3]

To facilitate a smooth transition for the services and operation of the St. John Council for Hong Kong after the sovereignty change over in 1997 and to enable St. John in Hong Kong to exist as an independent organisation free from the direction of the Order of St. John in United Kingdom, except for a fraternal relationship, a new Hong Kong St. John Ambulance Incorporation Ordinance (Chapter 1164) was enacted by the Legislative Council on 27 June 1997. Under the new Ordinance, the old Council, the Association and the Brigade are now incorporated as a body corporate and have the new corporate name of Hong Kong St. John Ambulance, while the nature of the works of St. John remains unchanged.

After the handover in 1997, the organisation answers directly to the Chief Executive of Hong Kong. The organisation has since been running on an independent basis from the UK.


The St. John Council is the governing body of the organisation, responsible for policy making, fund raising, allocation of resources, and providing support and co-ordination of the functions of the St. John Ambulance Association and Brigade.

St. John Ambulance Association is responsible for training members of the public in the principle and the practice of First Aid, Home Nursing and other allied subjects, together with publication of textbooks to facilitate such instruction. It also organises examinations and issues certificates of proficiency to successful candidates. Modest fees are charged for courses and examinations.

St. John Ambulance Brigade, the service arm of St. John, is responsible for the organisation, training and equipment of men, women and young persons to undertake, on a voluntary basis, either as individuals or as organised groups, First Aid, Home Nursing and allied activities in public places, or elsewhere as occasions may require, for welfare to those in need. The service is free.

Under the leadership of the Commissioner, the Brigade has a strength of over 6,000 volunteers who are trained to be efficient and competent at all times to perform public duties in the following aspects:

Kowloon Command

Kowloon Command of the Hong Kong St. John Ambulance Brigade consists of three(3) Regions, namely Administrative Region, Kowloon East Region and Kowloon West Region.

New Territories Command

New Territories Command of the Hong Kong St. John Ambulance Brigade consists of three(3) Regions, namely Administrative Region, New Territories East Region and New Territories West Region.

Youth Command

The Cadet Command of Hong Kong St. John Ambulance Brigade was established in 1948. Its objective is to train teenagers (aged 12 to 18) in First Aid, Home Nursing, and encourage them to develop their interest in social and practical skills such as Road and Home Safety, Community Care, etc. which are conductive to their development to becoming good citizens. It is hoped, too, that the Cadet Command will lay the foundation for membership of the Ambulance and Nursing Divisions of the Brigade.[4] At present, all Cadet Divisions are established in secondary schools.

The Cadet activities are multifarious. Cadets will participate in Leadership Training Programmes and receive training in other proficiency subjects such as Fire Fighting, Canoeing, Camping, Life Saving, Rock Climbing, Map Reading, Cookery, etc.

Cadet Region has been reformed as Cadet Command on 1 May 2007.

Basic Structure

Commander: Dr. John FENN OStJ, Assistant Commissioner

The Cadet Command is under the overall management of an Assistant Commissioner with four Chief Superintendents, who are looking after the four regions, namely Administrative Region, Region A, Region B and Region C.

There are three Cadet Corps in each of the Region A, B and C.
Region A No.1 Cadet Corps includes divisions in Central Western Hong Kong Island.
Region A No.2 Cadet Corps includes divisions in Central Eastern Hong Kong Island.
Region A No.3 Cadet Corps includes divisions in Kowloon East and Tseung Kwan O.
Region B No.1 Cadet Corps includes divisions in Kowloon Central.
Region B No.2 Cadet Corps includes divisions in Kowloon Central & West.
Region B No.3 Cadet Corps includes divisions in Tsuen Wan and Kwai Tsing District.
Region C No.1 Cadet Corps includes divisions in Shatin.
Region C No.2 Cadet Corps includes divisions in Tuen Mun.
Region C No.3 Cadet Corps includes divisions in Yuen Long and New Territories North.
As at 1 April 2011, there are 77 cadet divisions in 72 secondary schools.

  • Cadet Command

Facilities locations

Hong Kong Island Command headquarters, at 2 Tai Hang Road.

The St. John Ambulance Headquarters is at 2 Macdonnell Road, which has been reconstructed to accommodate a hotel to guarantee a financial income.

The Hong Kong Island Command headquarters is at 2 Tai Hang Road in a historical building built in 1935, overlooking the Central Library and Victoria Park. It is also an ambulance depot for the Brigade.

The Kowloon and New Territories Command headquarters is located next to Kowloon Hospital at 10 Princess Margaret Road, and to date has a footdrill ground and simple classrooms for activities. The Kowloon ambulance depot is not too far away at the Princess Road.

The New Territories' headquarters is located at 28 Tin Ping Road in Sheung Shui, mainly as an ambulance depot.


The uniform of the Hong Kong St. John Ambulance Cadets is still made of thick material similar to the historical British counterpart, and includes a jacket designed to withstand temperatures at around 5 °C in its winter uniform. This may be deemed unsuitable for Hong Kong's sub-tropical climate, where winter temperatures rarely fall below 10 °C, sometimes going up above 20, and summer temperatures regularly exceeding 30 °C.

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ Rebecca Chan Chung, Deborah Chung and Cecilia Ng Wong, "Piloted to Serve", 2012
  3. ^
  4. ^

External links

  • Hong Kong St. John Ambulance
  • Hong Kong St. John Ambulance Brigade Cadet Command
  • General Regulations of Hong Kong St. John Ambulance Brigade
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