30 hours of torture to get into SCDF's Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team course

Exhausted candidates charge with a dummy casualty in tow towards the endpoint and ring the bell during the last test, the Braveheart challenge.
Exhausted candidates charge with a dummy casualty in tow towards the endpoint and ring the bell during the last test, the Braveheart challenge.
The pain, cramps and fatigue are shut out of candidates' minds as they execute physically taxing obstacles the during Dart selection test. Here, a candidate pulls himself to slide head first down a three-storey platform.
The pain, cramps and fatigue are shut out of candidates' minds as they execute physically taxing obstacles the during Dart selection test. Here, a candidate pulls himself to slide head first down a three-storey platform.
With nothing more than a chisel and a hammer, Dart selection candidates have to make a hole large enough for them to get through a wall in the back-breaking Concrete-Wall Breaching Test. They have six hours to complete the task.
With nothing more than a chisel and a hammer, Dart selection candidates have to make a hole large enough for them to get through a wall in the back-breaking Concrete-Wall Breaching Test. They have six hours to complete the task.
A Dart officer stands over a selection candidate who appears exhausted from having to carry two hoses, each weighing 15kg, to the endpoint of the Breathing Apparatus Endurance Circuit. The candidate also has to lug a 15kg air cylinder.
A Dart officer stands over a selection candidate who appears exhausted from having to carry two hoses, each weighing 15kg, to the endpoint of the Breathing Apparatus Endurance Circuit. The candidate also has to lug a 15kg air cylinder.

Half will fail. But there is a strong desire to survive the gruelling Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (Dart) selection. It means a spot in a 10-week course by the elite Singapore Civil Defence Force unit. The Sunday Times watches candidates coming close to their breaking point in the 30-hour test.

The 15 candidates are briefed by Dart commanding officer Chew Keng Tok.

After clearing a psychometric test, they must undergo 10 test components during the selection.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on February 25, 2018, with the headline '30 hours of torture to get into Dart class'. Print Edition | Subscribe