SCDF conducts ground deployment exercise at Serangoon Nex mall early Friday morning

An SCDF HazMat specialist taking samples of a chemical release during an exercise at Nex mall in Serangoon.
An SCDF HazMat specialist taking samples of a chemical release during an exercise at Nex mall in Serangoon.PHOTO: FACEBOOK/SINGAPORE CIVIL DEFENCE FORCE

SINGAPORE - During the wee hours of Friday (April 1) morning, the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) held a ground deployment exercise at Nex shopping mall in Serangoon.

About 70 SCDF personnel and 20 emergency and supporting vehicles were involved in the exercise, which lasted close to four hours.

On its Facebook page, SCDF shared live updates during the exercise, starting with the in-house Company Emergency Response Team (CERT) putting on their protective gear before investigating an "incident" in the mall.

They were subsequently joined by SCDF first-responders.

A "casualty" was evacuated by CERT, working together with SCDF personnel. SCDF HazMat specialists entered the "hot zone" where the suspected chemical release was located.

Casualties were decontaminated using water to minimise the effects of the chemical release.

After the source of the release was detected, HazMat specialists covered it with a tarpaulin sheet to suppress its chemical effects. They proceeded to take samples of the release.

The casualties were subsequently given a thorough decontamination by personnel from the Special Rescue Unit. This was performed using soap and water, and detectors were used to ensure the casualties were cleared of contaminants.

SCDF said the exercise was part of its ongoing efforts to validate and update operational plans and procedures. It added that its frontliners have gained valuable experience through realistic training in public locations.