Father’s Day Series: Drain Chargeman Mr KOO Wai-ming of the Drainage Services Department
As Father’s Day is approaching, we would like to share with you a frontline worker and his little story as a father, so as to show our support for all good dads.
Mr KOO Wai-ming has worked in the DSD for over three decades. Starting out as a Workman II, he was promoted to Drain Chargeman 10 years ago. He is not only a senior staff member in our department with total dedication, but also a guardian angel for his child. Currently, the DSD has 11 teams under the Direct Labour Force for clearing blocked drains, each with four to five Leading Sewermen or Workmen II led by a Drain Chargeman to discharge their duties.
More than clearing blocked drains
Sharing his job experience, Mr KOO said that when an Amber/Red/Black rainstorm warning or a typhoon signal is hoisted, the DSD colleagues have to remain on standby on a rotational basis, 24 hours a day, at the Emergency Co-ordination Centre (ECC) to receive and handle public requests for assistance. The frontline staff, once alerted by the ECC, will rush to the scene across the territory. Upon arriving at the scene, the DSD workers will first use devices to test for any poisonous or explosive gas before opening manholes. After that, they will desilt the blocked drains with rattan strips or high-pressure water jets.
Handling emergency cases with a clear head
Talking about his most memorable experience, Mr KOO recalled that he had once received an urgent request from a member of the public. Arriving at the scene, he found the female caller emotionally unstable. He did his best to comfort the lady, while at the same time he had to take prompt action with his colleagues to solve the blockage problem. He later realised that the lady, being a new mother, had made incessant phone calls simply because she was worried that the foul water would affect her baby. The incident tells him that there are always reasons behind the requests for assistance or complaints from the public or those in need, and therefore they should help them solve their problems as fast as possible with a positive attitude.
A tough man’s tender love for his son
Besides his work, our tough man Mr KOO also shared with us his family life. When he talked about his family and his love for his son, his sentimental side shone through. He has a 12-year-old son. As he works shifts, he sometimes has to work on Saturdays and Sundays. Whenever there is an emergency, he is required to go on duty at all hours and even has to work overnight. At times, his son complains that he is often not at home. As a father, he can only explain to his son with patience that his work is to serve the community and there is a public need for his service. He hopes that his son will understand better as he grows up. In the past, he read his son stories. In the blink of an eye, his son will soon become a Secondary One student and the way they get along has changed a lot. One thing is certain, however, he just cannot be too strict with his son and they need to communicate as friends to maintain their bonds.
The name of Mr KOO’s son, KOO Chung-hang, carries a special meaning. Mr KOO believes that all parents have expectations of their children. He said the name he picked for his son comes from Confucius, whose second name is Zhongni (Chung-nei in Cantonese), with “Chung” meaning integrity. Although he does not expect his son to have great achievements, he hopes his son will be a good, virtuous and righteous man. Regarding his son’s future occupation, he said it will be up to his son.
(The video is broadcasted in Cantonese)
(The video is provided by Development Bureau)