The ringing of aft bells from SCDF’s vessels and the final water salute marked the end of service for the Force’s two longest-serving vessels, the Marine Fire Vessels (MFVs) dubbed Firefighter I and Firefighter II. The two MFVs, formerly known as Api Api 1 and Api Api 2, had operated under the ownership of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) until 2012 when they were transferred to SCDF. They were refurbished and renamed as Firefighter I and Firefighter II in 2013. Since then, the vessels have been deployed in numerous firefighting and rescue operations of the Life Saving Force.
Meet SSG Teo Wee Siong Vincent, a member of SCDF’s elite Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (DART) who has been with the Force for over 12 years. He has been a DART Specialist since September 2018, an appointment in which he worked very hard to achieve. Rescue 995 engaged SSG Vincent in an exclusive interview as he shares his personal story, his aspiration to become a DART Specialist and his experiences at the frontline.
Meet LTA Mohamed Salih Shaik Dawood, a Deputy Rota Commander of the Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (DART), who has been with the Force for 24 years. LTA Shaik Dawood, then a second Warrant Officer (WO2), and his team were alerted to a HDB fire at Bukit Batok in 2019. “It was a raging fire! The window panes were shattering due to the intense heat. Our first priority was to get into the house and rescue the casualties immediately,” recalled LTA Shaik Dawood. In a flash, hoses were laid and firefighters broke into the heavily smoke-logged unit armed with water jets.
Weaving through heavy traffic on their motorcycles, putting out fires with compressed air-foam backpacks and even restarting a heart, SCDF fire bikers are usually the first to arrive at the scene of an emergency. Thanks to their speedy and efficient fire bikes. The fire bikes were first introduced to combat increasing traffic congestion which delays fire appliances responding to emergencies. This is because response time is a critical factor in preventing the spread of fires. It was not until 2012 that fire bikers began to attend to both fire and medical cases.
In mid-April 2021, the new seventh-generation ambulance was unveiled at the SCDF’s annual work plan seminar. The seventh-generation ambulance is designed to tackle both present and future pre-hospital emergency challenges. To be better prepared for future pandemics, an automatic decontamination mist-spray system is built into the vehicle. It sprays non-toxic and non-corrosive disinfectant to decontaminate the ambulance in 20 minutes with the press of a button. The ambulance also utilises solar-power and intelligent charging system to increase operational readiness and flexibility especially during off-site deployments. Other features include a modular equipment storage system and an electronic pulley-controlled loading and unloading system for stretchers that reduces the risk of accidental drop. The new ambulance is a collaboration between SCDF and the Home Team Science and Technology Agency.
Emergency Medical Technicians and Fire & Rescue Specialists — these are typical examples of vocations associated with full-time National Service in SCDF. However, there are many other NSF vocations in the Lifesaving Force and one of which is the Data Analytics Specialists in the SCDF’s Transformation & Future Technology Department (TFTD). Here the full-time National Servicemen (NSFs) are trained to assist in managing projects involving computing and data analysis. These NSFs are selected based on their academic background and/or inclination towards computing and engineering.
You may have seen how firefighters extinguished fires and saved lives of those trapped in burning buildings. But do you know what comes next for SCDF after the fire is put out? It is investigation in getting to the root cause of the fire. Fire investigators will enter the post-fire scene to collect evidences to determine the origin and cause of fire. At times, they work with other public sector agencies to establish ways to reduce future fire occurrences and, where applicable, assist the police in criminal prosecution. They would also assist the affected parties in claim recovery based on the findings from the evidences collected at the fire scene. Rescue 995 engaged Captain (CPT) Cindy Han Chai Yee, a Senior Fire Investigator with the SCDF Fire Investigation Unit (FIU), in an exclusive interview.
MAJOR (MAJ) Abdul Razak Senin and Senior Warrant Officer (SWO1) Irianto Bin Marino can never forget their first overseas operation as rescuers from the newly formed Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (DART) twenty-seven years ago. It was also the year when they had just graduated from the 1st DART Conversion Course. Five months after the conversion course, on 11 December 1993, a huge mudslide brought on by the heavy December rains triggered the collapse of a 12-storey building on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Within hours, DART rescuers were activated to assist in the rescue mission at Highland Towers in Kuala Lumpur.
From 12 to 14 June 2020, 370 teams comprising 1244 students from junior colleges, polytechnics and universities participated in “SCDF X IBM Lifesavers’ Innovation Challenge: Call For Code 2020”, a 48-hour virtual hackathon jointly organised by SCDF and IBM. In July this year, the result of the hackathon was announced and a team of 5 students from the Singapore Management University (SMU) emerged as the champion, winning a cash prize of S$10,000 and USD$120,000 IBM cloud credits.
It was close to bedtime when a fire blazed through Tuas Avenue, engulfing an entire warehouse, about 5-storey in height, trailing through the drains - a scene straight out of a movie scene.