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Tech Spotlight: The Future of Emergency Services
Enhanced medical support on the ground, fighting oil tank fires with water drawn directly from the sea, and infusing Virtual Reality into training – these were just some of the highlights of SCDF’s 2019 Workplan Seminar.

Want to know more about the lifesaving tech of tomorrow? Here are four highlights of the Singapore Civil Defence Force’s (SCDF) 2019 Workplan Seminar! 

1. Enhanced Pre-Hospital Medical Care
Rendering medical attention within the first hour is vital for patients with life-threatening conditions. With the Medical Support Vehicle (MSV), SCDF lifesavers can stabilise and perform critical invasive treatments for patients in a clean environment on the ground.

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The MSV has a range of features to enhance medical care on the ground. PHOTOS: Natasha Razak

The MSV also includes a portable, inflatable medical treatment tent that can accommodate up to eight treatment beds.

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Bariatric conveyances will help to ease the transportation and treatment of heavier patients. GIF: Desmond Ang

2. Lifesavers Above and Below the Waves
Operated by two Marine Firefighting Specialists, the Rescue Jet Ski (RJ) will be deployed for operations in shallow waters from August 2019 onwards. The RJ’s shallow draft allows for quick access to victims. 

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Fast mover: The RJ can facilitate shallow water lifesaving operations. PHOTO: Natasha Razak

When it comes to rescue work, time is of the essence, especially for SCDF’s DART (Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team) divers. However, these elite lifesavers are currently limited to about 40 minutes underwater before having to resurface for air.

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The SSDE includes four interchangeable air cylinders, a dry suit and diver’s helmet housing an integrated communications system. PHOTOS: Natasha Razak

The newly introduced Surface Supplied Diving Equipment (SSDE) contains four interchangeable air cylinders, allowing divers to conduct prolonged underwater search and rescue operations.

The integrated communications system in the diver’s helmet also helps divers stay in touch with the ground commander on-site. To top it all off, the fully encapsulated Dry Suit protects DART divers from underwater contaminants.

3. Customised for Fighting Oil Tank Fires
Having successfully fought major oil tank fires on Jurong Island in 2016 and Pulau Busing in 2018, SCDF has introduced a new Modular Oil Tank Fire-fighting System (MOTFS) to boost its firefighting capabilities during such incidents.

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MOTFS has a discharge capacity of 100,000 litres/minute. PHOTO: Natasha Razak

The MOTFS can be deployed in various combinations according to the scale of the oil tank fire. It can also discharge up to 100,000 litres/minute of foam solution (an increase of about 60% over current capabilities).

If an oil tank fire occurs near the sea, the MOTFS can also draw large amounts of water directly from it, allowing for greater operational flexibility on the ground. It will be deployed in 2020.

4. Enhanced Training for Our Lifesavers
Virtual Reality technology and e-learning will be infused into training for lifesavers at the Civil Defence Academy. At the Emergency Responders’ Fitness Conditioning & Enhancement Lab (EXCEL), climatic conditions can be simulated to enable a wide range of training scenarios for emergency responders.

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Learning feedback: New teaching systems will allow the actions of users to be analysed, so as to optimise their training. PHOTOS: Natasha Razak

Innovation is also the order of the day at the National Emergency Medical Services Training Centre (NETC), which will employ Mixed Reality to provide training scenarios that are realistic and safe.

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Users are guided step-by-step via a self-directed learning platform, with feedback provided instantly. PHOTOS: Natasha Razak.

These can be presented in “video game” formats to enhance the learning experience for users.



SCDF 2019 Workplan Seminar
Read the speech by Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law Mr K Shanmugam at SCDF’s 2019 Workplan Seminar.

  1. by Ashley Tuen
  2. 14 May 2019
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