Singapore Civil Defence Force
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1888 - 1990

1888The Singapore Fire Brigade was formed.
1908The Central Fire Station was officially opened. Today this familiar red and white building along Hill Street is still an operational station and a historical landmark.
25 May 1961 The Bukit Ho Swee fire broke out. 4 people died, 85 injured, 16,000 made homeless and more than 2,200 attap houses were destroyed.
21 Nov 1972 Fire at the popular Robinson store claimed nine lives and caused damage worth an estimated $21 million. The Robinson Store blaze led to the drawing up of the first Fire Code which required buildings to install various fire safety features.
12 Oct 1978 A massive explosion and flash fire on board the Greek tanker Spyros killed 76 people and injured 69 others. An enquiry later found that safety practices were ignored when repairs were carried out on the ship.
06 Nov 1982 The National Civil Defence Plan and the Civil Defence Volunteer Scheme were launched.
01 Sep 1983 The Civil Defence Command under the Singapore Police Force was renamed the Singapore Civil Defence Force giving it a separate identity.
07 Feb 1984 SCDF launched the emergency number "995" to replace the old number. (Previous numbers used include 5555, 328111 and 3378111)
15 - 22 Mar 1986 Hotel New World collapsed. Seventeen people were rescued and 33 lives were lost when the six-story building gave way. A government inquiry held later, blamed structural faults for the disaster.
14 Nov 1986 The Civil Defence Act was enacted.
03 Sep 1988 The SCDF dispatches relief supplies to Nepal following a massive earthquake which left several hundred people dead and over 100,000 homeless. This was the SCDF's first overseas humanitarian operations.
25 Oct 1988 The Pulau Merlimau fire broke out. It was the largest oil refinery fire in Singapore 's history and lasted for more than 113 hours. Three storage tanks went up in flames, causing loss of more than $10 million.
19 Nov 1989 The Essential Household Stockpile programme was launched prompting households to keep a ready stockpile of dried food, water and essential first aid supplies for emergencies.
May 1990 The elite Disaster Assistance & Rescue Team (DART) was formed.
18 - 28 Jul 1990 SCDF's first overseas disaster relief operation. A combined army and civil defence contingent was sent to Baguio Philippines following a massive earthquake.
Last updated on 4th May 2010
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