Chan Tak Lai (China, Hong Kong SAR)


chen de li

Chan Tak-lai, graduated from Chinese University of Hong Kong, is a female senior fire station officer. She applied for the first recruitment of firewomen in 1994. After passing out, she became one of the first firewomen in Hong Kong.


Lai has been active and sporty since she was a child. To her, firewomen is a challenging job, which has a very high standard of physical capability. The requirement is no difference between men and women, as both firemen and firewomen have the same duties in the fire. She has to be able to take care of herself in case she disturbs the mission of rescue and firefighting.


Being an officer, Lai has to build up leadership among experienced firemen, especially during the execution of tasks. To convince her subordinates, she always has to made decision at once and give clear instruction, for the rescue work sake.


She still remembered that there had been a fire broke out on a ship. It had been a challenging mission as the temperature had been so high that even her boots had melted. After that task, however, she was not frightened as she would be well-prepared for the coming tasks.


Apart from rescue work, Lai also has to build up relationships with the firemen. To her, entering the circle of men is necessary, so she respects the men’s habit, such as not wearing upper outer garment. She gives her play to the female advantage of concerning the others, by spending time on chatting with them, and knowing more about their difficulties in their daily life.


It is not easy to be a fireman, and a firewoman indeed. Lai has overcome a lot of difficulties, such as the requirement of fitness, leading among firemen and entering their circle.  She is devoted in her career because life is the most valuable thing to her.


Written by Suen Ching


This post is also available in 简体中文 and 繁體中文.