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SCDF Workplan 2016: SCDF’s Community Engagement Efforts to Support SGSecure
The Singapore Civil Defence Force will train the community to be first responders to emergencies

The safety and security of Singapore is a collective responsibility and the community plays a vital role—this was the central message put forth at the Singapore Civil Defence Force Workplan Seminar on 6 May 2016.

As part of the SGSecure national movement, the Singapore Civil Defence Force is shifting its community engagement efforts towards building an Emergency Ready Nation.

Outreach efforts will focus on training the community to be first responders to an emergency.

Community first responders are individuals trained in life-saving skills who will step in to aid those in distress in an emergency before the arrival of SCDF personnel.

They are also equipped with knowledge on how to respond to major crises such as a terrorist attack.

 Community first responders performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) using an automated external defibrillator (AED) on a cardiac arrest victim in a demonstration at the SCDF Workplan Seminar. PHOTO: Siti Hawa

“The SCDF will have a shift in the way it engages the community and focus much more towards getting the nation ready for emergencies, and make it clear that the community will play a vital role in that, alongside the SCDF,” said Minister for Home Affairs Mr K Shanmugam at the seminar.

Two of the SCDF’s flagship community engagement platforms—the Community Emergency Preparedness Programme (CEPP) and the Emergency Preparedness (EP) Day—will be restructured to focus on the key thrusts of SGSecure: Vigilance, Cohesion and Resilience.

The five-modular CEPP will be streamlined into a three-tiered programme on life-saving skills and emergency preparedness procedures, with a focus on practical hands-on training.

“For instance, the basic Tier One entitled 'I Am SAFE' programme is an online knowledge-based self-assessment module where one could easily learn via the SCDF website or MySCDF mobile app…[t]he remaining two tiers of the revised CEPP equip participants with core life-saving skills to assist others in emergency situations prior to SCDF’s arrival,” said SCDF Commissioner Eric Yap.

 A taxi driver shows Minister for Home Affairs Mr K Shanmugam how the SDCF myResponder mobile app alerts the user to cardiac arrest cases within a 400m radius. PHOTO: Luqman Zulkifli

The EP Day, originally an event to engage heartland residents in emergency preparedness, will now include a terror attack drill in partnership with the Police and the People’s Association to prepare the community to respond to a crisis.

The revamped EP Day will also serve as “an anchor community event to promote SGSecure” and will be piloted at six constituencies this year, said SCDF Commissioner Eric Yap.

To support the SGSecure national movement, all 20,000 SCDF National Service (NS) personnel, both full-time NSmen and Operationally Ready NSmen already trained in life-saving and emergency preparedness skills, will take on the role of Community Responders to assist in emergencies during peace time or crises, even when off duty.

The SCDF will also transform its Shelter Battalion, an Operationally Ready National Service (ORNS) unit into a new Public Shelter and Resilience Unit.

ORNSmen from this unit will assume additional roles as SGSecure mobilisers in their local communities and conduct public outreach programmes and education on matters such as household fire safety measures, community emergency preparedness, as well as SGSecure messages.

Only four personnel are required to operate the new Fire and Rescue Ops Support Tender (FROST)  instead of the current eight needed to man the Breathing Apparatus Tender (BAT) and the Damage Control Tender (DCT). PHOTO: Siti Hawa

The SCDF also unveiled two new vehicles that will enhance its operational capabilities at the workplan seminar—the new Fire and Rescue Ops Support Tender (FROST) and the Mass Decontamination Vehicle (MDV).

Operational by June this year, the FROST combines the function of two support vehicles, the Breathing Apparatus Tender (BAT) and the Damage Control Tender (DCT), into a single platform that carries search, ventilation and damage control equipment for a prolonged or complex rescue operation.

This doubles the SCDF’s operational support capability with same manpower strength.

The MDV is an enhanced version of the Personnel Decontamination Vehicle (PDV) which is primarily designed to carry out the mass decontamination of casualties exposed to hazardous materials (HazMat).

The Mass Decontamination Vehicle (MDV) houses eight shower cubicles, each with an interactive instruction panel to guide the user on the decontamination process. PHOTO: Siti Hawa

Through intuitive design and advanced technology, the MDV allows more casualties to be decontaminated at a faster rate in a HazMat incident.

As it can also convey up to 12 casualties, and transport personnel and equipment, the MDV is able to support other rescue operations besides a HazMat incident.

It will be ready for use in June 2017.

Rescuers demonstrate how they decontaminate a casualty exposed to hazardous materials. PHOTO: Luqman Zulkifli

The SCDF is also exploring the use of exoskeleton technology to push the boundaries of its operational capabilities.

The exoskeleton is a wearable mobile machine that enables rescuers to carry heavy loads with significantly lesser effort. It can also boost the user’s endurance.

If successful, the SCDF will be the first fire-fighting force in the world to harness such a technology in their operations.

“This technology is still at its nascent stage of development but promises far reaching improvements to our frontline operation,” said SCDF Commissioner Eric Yap.

The SCDF is exploring the use of the exoskeleton, a wearable mobile machine that substantially increases the strength and endurance of the user. PHOTO: Siti Hawa


© 2019 Ministry of Home Affairs, Singapore. All Rights Reserved.

  1. by Denise Lee
  2. 06 May 2016
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