SCDF wants more "human" manikins for training simulations

It seeks to develop such dummies for more realistic casualty simulation

They will look, feel and sound like real human beings, complete with bloody wounds and weakening vital signs.

These wired dummies, which can be controlled remotely, are "intelligent rescue manikins" (IRMs) that the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) is looking to develop to better train officers who respond to emergencies.

An SCDF spokesman told The Straits Times such manikins would help "elevate the training experience", providing more realistic scenarios than the standard training manikins in use since the early 2000s.

"The IRM will have features and functions similar to a real casualty, such as heat signature, simulated vital signs like pulse and heart rate, and the ability to respond verbally to our trainees," added the spokesman.

The heat-emitting function would allow trainees to use thermal-imaging cameras to locate the "casualties" in a smoke-filled environment, as they do in real fire cases. The in-built vocal response capability would enable acoustic listening devices to detect the location of victims trapped under collapsed structures.

Other features SCDF wants include remote operationability, and high impact, water and heat resistance needed to withstand conditions in firefighting training.

Trainees would be able to use training equipment like life detectors, thermal imagers or an automated external defibrillator on these intelligent manikins, as they would on real-life casualties.

The manikins would be able to simulate injuries such as lacerations, burns, cuts and bruises, and mimic human, moving joints to allow the practice of techniques such as the fireman's lift.

The dummy's limbs are also to be detachable to simulate amputation and impalement injuries.

In tender documents, SCDF noted that many of the training rescue manikins on the market have limited or minimal features to provide realistic casualty simulation, and could lead to trainees' critical thinking being "curtailed".

The SCDF spokesman said the first prototype of the intelligent rescue manikin is expected to take about a year to be developed.

He added: "When it is completed, SCDF will validate its suitability to meet our training requirements before adoption."

hpeishan@sph.com.sg