Read on some of the old fire-fighting appliances and items that were used in the earlier years of civil defence.
Community & Volunteers
The Merryweather Fire King
The Merryweather Steam Fire Engine was the first fully motorized fire-engine in Singapore. It was imported directly from Britain and was named after the Governor of Singapore at that time, Mr. Broadrick.
As it was one of the best fire-engines in the world at that time, it was nicknamed the “fire-king” by the firemen who used to use it.
The boiler always contained hot water that produced steam, which allowed the vehicle to respond to fires immediately.
The engine also allowed firemen to have water pumped to them from a water source thus increasing water pressure in their hoses and allowing them to fight fire more efficiently.
The Major Pump Three
The Major Pump 3 is a fire engine with an open concept. The driver and the officer in-charge of the fire-fighting crew would sit in the front and the rest of the firemen would have to stand on the two platforms attached to the two sides of the fire-engine.
The firemen standing on the two sides would have to hold on tightly to the ladder to avoid falling down as the roads were very bumpy at the time. If a fireman fell down, he would have to catch up with the engine and climb back on. Firemen would also have to hold on to the equipment placed on the fire-engine to ensure the equipment doesn’t drop off.
Dennis Pump Escape
The Dennis Pump Escape was the first vehicle acquired by the Singapore Fire Brigade in 1951.
The fire engine saw a new emphasis by the Singapore Fire Brigade on the operational efficiency in their response to the fire scenes without compromising the safety of the firemen. This fire engine was not only fitted with a better engine that can respond fast to the scene of fire, it has replaced the old concept of fire engines where firemen clinging to a rail on the outside of the appliance. The security offered by a totally-enclosed cab reduced the risk of death or injury to the firemen in any type of vehicle accident.
Its service was discontinued in 1979.
Hendry Leather Helmet
The Fire Helmet is the most important protective gear for each fire fighter, its equality can well decide over life and death in certain situations. The history of fire helmet reflects the former colonial traditions influence in the development of fire brigade in Singapore. Leather helmet gave a good service in the earlier 1900s.
Officer's Peak Cap
A peak cap, worn by senior officers in Singapore Fire Service from 1980 to 1989, as part of the service dress. When the service integrated with the Singapore Civil Defence Force in 1989, this peak cap was withdrawn from use.
Street Fire Alarm
The street fire alarm system was installed and tested on 31 Dec 1914. The system had a biggest impact to the firemen’s response to fire calls as the reports of fires came in earlier.
The big nozzle was introduced in 1930s. It was capable of projecting a large quantity of water at a distance away from the fire. Fire fighters also used it to create a curtain of water between buildings, to prevent the fire from spreading. It faded from use in 1970s.
Also known as a knapsack pump. First acquired in 1939, this pump was mostly used to fight lallang (long grass) fires in remote areas. The pump can contain 20 litres of water.