SCDF USAR Framework for ORNS Rescue and Medical Units Accredited by the International Search And Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG)
16 October 2022
The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) Operationally Ready National Servicemen (ORNS) Rescue Units and Medical Units (RU/MU) are critical elements of our nation’s disaster response capabilities as they serve to augment the frontline emergency response during local urban disasters such as collapsed building.
2. On 15 October 2022, the SCDF commenced the assessment under the INSARAG-Recognised National Accreditation Process (IRNAP)1. IRNAP serves two key objectives: -
- Certifies that SCDF’s Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) framework for the ORNS RU/MU is aligned with the International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG) 2 methodology and processes.
- Empowers SCDF to conduct accreditation of our ORNS units’ USAR capabilities according to the INSARAG methodologies.
3. SCDF’s ORNS RU/MU USAR framework has been successfully accredited by a team of international assessors from the Asia-Pacific region on 16 October 2022 after a 24-hour assessment. An SCDF ORNS RU/MU comprising about 300 ORNS personnel under the 2nd SCDF Division were involved in this accreditation exercise conducted at the Home Team Tactical Centre. The accreditation exercise which tested their USAR capabilities comprised day and night operations such as complex height rescue, cutting, rigging and lifting operations.
4. IRNAP makes SCDF the first organisation in the Asia-Pacific region to undergo this assessment and have its USAR framework for ORNS units recognised by the INSARAG. This achievement was made possible with the strong commitment of our ORNSmen, and the support from employers, family and loved ones.
1 In accordance INSARAG guidelines, one of the critical aspects for countries to enhance their national disaster response capacity is the establishment of a National Accreditation Process (NAP) for its USAR Teams. This process allows States to manage, monitor and establish national Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) standards and adhere closely to the INSARAG methodology. A NAP can also be recognised by INSARAG as an INSARAG-Recognised National Accreditation Process (IRNAP) through an established and clearly defined process that acknowledges the nation’s NAP as having met the minimum INSARAG standards set under the INSARAG External Support and Recognition Process (IERSP) Manual located in the INSARAG 2020 Guidelines, Vol II, Manual A.
2 The INSARAG was established by the United Nations (UN) to facilitate coordination between the international disaster management fraternity as well as set internationally recognised standards for USAR teams. SCDF represents Singapore as the INSARAG focal point and has been an active participant of the INSARAG since 2008.
Corporate Communications Department
Singapore Civil Defence Force