Date
23 January 2017
PLA garrison in Hong Kong has been accused of causing confusion among the public with its military ambulance. Photo: http://www.hkitalk.net/
PLA garrison in Hong Kong has been accused of causing confusion among the public with its military ambulance. Photo: http://www.hkitalk.net/

PLA Hong Kong faces criticism over signage on ambulance

The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) garrison in Hong Kong is facing criticism over the signage and looks of an ambulance being used by the force to serve its personnel in the city.

Critics say the vehicle bears close resemblance to the ambulances operated by Hong Kong’s Fire Services Department (FSD), causing confusion among the public.    

It is hard for people to make out which is a civil ambulance and which is a military one, people said.

The criticism came after someone posted a picture online of an ambulance moving along Parkes Street in Jordan over the weekend, Apple Daily reports.

The photo, which appeared on a traffic-related online forum called hkitalk.net, prompted a flurry of comments, with many people raising questions over the vehicle’s design and looks.  

At first glance, most people would think the ambulance belongs to the FSD as it is bears the blue, six-pointed Star of Life sign that represents emergency medical services units and personnel, netizens pointed out.

But a closer look would reveal that the vehicle plate number begins with ZG, short form of “Zhù Gǎng”, which means it is operated by PLA Hong Kong and not by any civilian entity.

According to the FSD, none of its ambulances have plate numbers with ZG as the initials.

As the military ambulance causes confusion among the public, netizens urged the PLA garrison to remove the Star of Life sign from the vehicle to make it clear that it is not meant for transporting civilians in need of emergency services.

In a reply to a query from news website hk01.com, the PLA garrison said Sunday that the vehicle in the photo was indeed of an ambulance that serves its soldiers.

The ambulance was not a used one purchased from FSD, it said.

But there was no assurance as to whether the military will pay heed to the criticism and take off the signage on the vehicle.

As PLA Hong Kong runs a hospital at its Gun Club Hill Barracks in Jordan, people who live in the neighborhood may have to put up with more confusion with regard to the ambulance.

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TL/AC/RC

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