SCDF aims to do more with less

Officers from the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) with a Hazmat (hazardous materials) Detector unit during Operation Lionheart. Doing more and responding faster, without needing extra manpower - that is the theme behind the new technologies unve
Officers from the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) with a Hazmat (hazardous materials) Detector unit during Operation Lionheart. Doing more and responding faster, without needing extra manpower - that is the theme behind the new technologies unveiled by the SCDF at its Workplan Seminar on April 17, 2014. -- NP FILE PHOTO: LATASHNI GOBI NATHAN 

It is harnessing new technologies to respond faster without relying on more manpower

Doing more and responding faster, without needing extra manpower - that is the theme behind the new technologies unveiled by the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) at its Workplan Seminar last Thursday.

The new hardware, both prototypes and those already deployed, will help SCDF personnel deal with a wide range of emergencies.

The SCDF deals with all kinds of emergencies - from just a small fire accident in a rubbish chute to unforeseeable scenarios, said Senior Minister of State for Home Affairs Masagos Zulkifli at the event.

They have to be ready to handle all situations - known and unknown.

Some of the new equipment, such as an unmanned firefighting and rescue vehicle, which doubles as a forklift or bulldozer, has the firefighting power of 10 men.

An automated casualty conveyance system, which is being tested, will be able to evacuate casualties twice as fast and without the need for manpower.

Such hardware can free up paramedics and firefighters for more urgent tasks, such as searching for survivors after a disaster.

Other advances, such as a bone needle, will help first-responders deliver life- saving drugs to cardiac arrest patients more rapidly and reliably than through a vein.

Mr Masagos noted that the SCDF faces manpower constraints like the rest of the Home Team.

"We have to expand the capabilities of SCDF not just through manpower expansion as demands on them grow, but also through innovation," he said.

yanliang@sph.com.sg