The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) welcomed the members of the Advisory Council for Community Relations in Defence (ACCORD) and employers to the Civil Defence Academy (CDA) on 9 July 2010. This is the first time that ACCORD is visiting the CDA since the Ministry of Home Affairs joined the council in 2007.
ACCORD was formed in 1984 by MINDEF as a feedback channel for the community on issues concerning the defence of our nation. The inclusion of MHA representatives into ACCORD has allowed both MINDEF and MHA to work more closely with the community to gain greater support from employers, families and fellow Singaporeans on issues concerning National Service.
This includes organising regular visits to training institutions and agencies regularly to familiarise ACCORD members with the operations of the Home Team and the Singapore Armed Forces, such as today’s visit to the CDA which gave the visitors an insight into SCDF’s operations and training systems. Visitors were also brought on a tour of the Academy and its simulation facilities.
The visit was co-hosted by Associate Professor Ho Peng Kee, Senior Minister of State for Law & Home Affairs and Associate Professor Koo Tsai Kee, Minister of State for Defence.
More information about the event can be found in the below annexes:-
Annex A: Welcome Speech by Associate Professor Ho Peng Kee, Senior Minister of State for Law & Home Affairs
Annex B: Factsheet on Civil Defence Academy
FACTSHEET: CIVIL DEFENCE ACADEMY
SINGAPORE CIVIL DEFENCE FORCE
The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) is a uniformed department under the Ministry of Home Affairs. Its key roles are to provide fire fighting, rescue & emergency ambulance services; regulate fire safety standards; implement Civil Defence Sheltering System and the Public Warning System, and to prepare the population to deal with emergencies. Under the Singapore’s HomeFront Crisis Management System, the SCDF is appointed as the Incident Manager, in charge of managing the consequences of disasters and civil emergencies.
CIVIL DEFENCE ACADEMY
2. The Civil Defence Academy is the premier training institution of SCDF. It is responsible for all vocational, specialized, command and staff training in the Force.
3. The Academy was established in 1999 to consolidate all in-house training in the SCDF under a purpose-built Academy. The vision of the Academy, in line with the vision of the Force, is to be a world class training institution providing quality civil defence training through professionalism, operational excellence and service quality. Its mission is to equip SCDF officers and Singaporeans with the knowledge, skills and values necessary to protect and save lives and property.
4. The investment in training a competent and professional SCDF would certainly contribute towards making Singapore a safe and secure best home for our people. This investment to make Singapore safe and secure must go beyond providing training for SCDF’s emergency response personnel. The community must also be the beneficiaries of the training provided by CDA as they also have a major role to play in ensuring a safer Singapore. The Academy provides a wide range of training courses on fire safety, medical skills, fire-fighting and mitigation of incidents involving chemical substances for the business sector, commercial and industrial community.
5. The Academy has establishment strength of about 270 personnel comprising 120 regular instructors and 150 National Service instructors. It is headed by the Director. Assisting him in running the Academy is the Office of the Chief Instructor and a Service Support Unit. The Academy has seven Training Centres, each responsible for a specific and focused area of training.
• Command and Staff Training Centre
• Specialist Training Centre
• Fire-Fighting Training Centre
• Vocational Training Centre
• Fire Safety and Investigation Training Centre
• Unit Training Centre
• Ship Fire-Fighting Training Centre
6. At the international front, the Academy provides a wide range of training courses on disaster management, urban search and rescue, fire-fighting, and mitigation of hazardous materials. These international courses of the Academy are in line with global outreach initiative of the Singapore Government. Since the Academy was set up in 1999, it has trained over 1700 participants from close to 100 different countries.
7. Other than the standard courses, the Academy has ventured into customised training programme to meet the need of the international fire and rescue agencies. The attainment of the heavy team classification status by SCDF Rescue Team in the INSARAG Classification Exercise held in January 2008 has strongly boosted the credentials of SCDF in its urban and search and rescue training capabilities. The successful run of a series of customised urban search and rescue courses for the United Arab Emirates designed to help the rescue team from the Abu Dhabi Police to attain the Medium Rescue Team status marks another step towards the reach to the global audience.
8. In the coming years, the Academy hopes to enhance further its global outreach and continue to share with the international emergency response communities the system and practices that SCDF has put in place.
TOUR OF CIVIL DEFENCE ACADEMY SIMULATION FACILITIES
The Civil Defence Academy (CDA) houses a range of training simulators to enable our personnel to train under realistic environments to prepare them for different aspects of emergency response. The safety of our trainees is of the greatest importance, and our simulators are designed such that they can be shut off immediately in any emergency situations.
STATION 1: EXTERNAL SIMULATORS
2. This station will provide an overview of CDA’s buildings and training facilities. Highlighted training simulators include the following:-
a. Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) Bullet TankThe LPG Bullet Tank fire simulator simulates a LPG tank impinged by fire.
b. Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) Flange LeakThis simulator aims to highlight this fact through the construction of multiple valves with pipeworks laid across as obstacles to add greater realism and difficulty in their approach to shut off the valves.
c. Oil Storage Tank Fire-fighting SimulatorThis oil storage tank is a common tank one can find in the oil industries. In the event of a fire breakout involving this kind of tank, trainees will need to apply the correct extinguishing medium and equipment.
d. Chemical Plant Complex & Sliding PoleThe chemical plant complex is a 3-storey building which is used to train HazMat personnel as well as firefighters to perform HazMat mitigation operations either at individual stations or in a scenario-based exercise setting. On the right side of the chemical plant is a sliding pole. This is where trainees learn how to descend from a sliding pole.
STATION 2: RUINS AREA / USAR EQUIPMENT / SEARCH DOGS
3. The Ruins Area is set up to model a collapsed structure, and consists of a 3 storey structure, a basement and 3 main tunnels which are interlinked. It is designed to provide the trainees a realistic Urban Search and Rescue training simulation. These include search for trapped victims, stabilizing of collapse structure, cutting, breaking and lifting to reach trapped victims, height and depth rescue and movements in confined space.
4. For search operations, if rescuers are unable to locate trapped victims whom can respond verbally, SCDF will deploy its search and rescue dogs to help indicate and narrow down the search area. This will be followed by the technical search through the use of our life detection equipment.
5. Once a victim is located, SCDF personnel will assess if the structure is stable and safe for rescuers to enter and commence rescue work. If required, the structure will be further stablised through shoring and strutting. With the structures stablised, rescuers will subsequently use cutting and breaking tools to breech and navigate through obstacles such as concrete slabs, floors, reinforcement bars, and even domestic household items. In situations where rescuers are required to be lowered in order to reach the victim, a tripod with a pulley system can be deployed.
STATION 3: FURNACE 6. The Furnace, houses some of the latest training facilities and technology in the region. It consists of 9 stories and a basement, and is designed to provide a full range of simulation settings to conduct realistic yet safety training within a controlled environment. This includes various commercial, industrial and residential settings, such as flashover fires and warehouse fires. Trainees can also put their rescue techniques to the test using the height rescue anchoring points.
7. The simulators within the Furnace are also fully computerized. Instructors are able to activate or deactivate the fire immediately in the control room. This is critical as safety of the trainees is of paramount importance to us to the Academy. In addition, the training utilizes LPG, which burns off cleanly with minimal adverse impact to the environment.
8. Built-in safety features of the Furnace include:-
a. Infrared Thermal Imaging CamerasThis allows instructors to see through thick smoke and darkness to ensure the safety of trainees during training. b. LPG DetectorThis monitors the concentration of the LPG in the surrounding. Upon detecting any dangerous level due to LPG leakage from the simulator, the simulator will be automatically shut off.
c. Thermal SensorsThey monitor the temperature of the air in the room to further ensure the safety of all personnel in the room.
d. Fire BricksThe fire bricks used to build the walls are able to withstand a temperature of up to 1000°C. They help to preserve the structural integrity of the building during trainings.
9. For all the trainings in the academy, there will be instructors attached to the trainees on site at all times. Should there be any emergency situation, the simulators can be shut off manually by pressing the Emergency Stop button.
STATION 4: TUNNEL AND CONTROL ROOM
10. The Tunnel Simulator is used to conduct search and rescue training in confined space scenarios such as sewerages, collapsed building and basements. Deemed as one of the more high risk operations in which our SCDF personnel may encounter during their tour of duty, it is important that we train them adequately to prepare them for such operations.
11. The Tunnel Simulator is able to create various different scenarios in a controlled environment. This includes filling it up with water up to 1.2m deep to build the confidence of our SCDF personnel using our Breathing Apparatus in submerged conditions. At some segments of the tunnels, the concrete slabs are replaceable. This allows the trainees to do breaking of concrete slabs in the confined tunnels.
12. One of the simulator’s safety features includes the escape hatches to function as emergency escape exits. These hatches are also used as observation hatches for the instructors to monitor the performance and safety of our trainees. There are also instructors physically present at the training site, as well as an instructor stationed at the Control Room to closely monitor our trainees through the infra-red cameras strategically installed within the Tunnel Simulator. These cameras are able to see through smoke as well as darkness. In case of any emergency, the Control Room instructor will immediately communicate with on-site instructors using radio sets who will then execute the emergency evacuation procedure.
STATION 5: BREATHING APPARATUS (BA) MAZE
13. The Breathing Apparatus (BA) Maze puts trainees through physical and psychologically-stressful environments by training them to carry out tasks under conditions near to real-life situations. Through the use of this facility, their performance is improved in the area of stress control and orientation, whilst sharpening reactions by relying on senses other than visual.
14. When SCDF fire-fighters are fully geared, they will don the fire gear as well as the Breathing Apparatus set. The facility is designed to test their competence and fitness in this attire. It comprises four static stations as well as the BA maze.
b. Impact Machine
d. Endless Ladders
e. BA Maze