A new fire station, built in Tuas View industrial estate to allow firemen and paramedics to respond faster to emergencies in the area, was officially opened yesterday.
The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said its officers from the Tuas View Fire Station can arrive at the scene of an incident in the estate within five minutes, which is at least three minutes faster than if they were deployed from the Tuas Fire Station previously.
The Minister in the Prime Minister's Office and Second Minister for Home Affairs and Trade and Industry, Mr S. Iswaran, agreed.
"Having this fire station complement the existing Tuas Fire Station gives us a better response capability," said Mr Iswaran, who was speaking at the opening ceremony of the station yesterday.
The new facility at Tuas View is also the fifth Hazmat, or hazardous materials, fire station here, capable of responding to industrial accidents involving toxic chemicals.
For example, it will house the Hazmat Mitigation Vehicle, which allows SCDF officers to detect toxic industrial chemicals, chemical warfare agents and radioactive materials.
This capability will prove helpful as the station is located in Singapore's up and coming biomedical hub, added Mr Iswaran.
Currently, the industrial estate is home to pharmaceutical companies such as GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer and Wyeth.
The 4,000 sq m station is home to about 65 operational staff and has a fleet of nine emergency vehicles.
Since it became operational in February, officers from the new station have responded to more than 40 calls - including a warehouse fire that broke out in Tuas Avenue 11 on April 27, which took about 80 rescuers 21/2 hours to put out.