The first fire station in Punggol will open by the middle of next year to ensure residents in the rapidly developing town can get speedier responses to emergency situations.
It will be at 151 Punggol Central, where it will share a building with the town's neighbourhood police centre when the latter moves from its current location in Tebing Lane.
The new fire station is necessary because of rapid development in the area, particularly with plans announced in January to develop the 50ha Punggol Digital District, said Ms Sun Xueling, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs and National Development.
She was speaking on the sidelines of a ground-breaking ceremony yesterday to mark the start of construction of the fire station and police centre.
Mr Ng Chee Meng, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, as well as 150 guests from the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), Singapore Police Force (SPF), Ministry of Home Affairs and grassroots representatives were present at the event. Both Ms Sun and Mr Ng are MPs for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC.
Ms Sun said: "Punggol is developing very rapidly... Between 2015 and 2020, our population would probably almost double, and from 2023 onwards, we'll also have the Punggol Digital District, we'll have a business park as well as a university.
"With the expected increase in residents, students and workers as a result, inevitably, this would lead to an increase in demand for policing and emergency services."
When completed next year, the five-storey building of more than 9,500 sq m will house the SCDF's 23rd fire station and the SPF's 35th neighbourhood police centre.
It will include two firefighter slides, a 25m training maze, as well as eight fire engine bays.
The second storey will be dedicated to community engagement events, with a multi-purpose hall, rooftop garden and training room.
These spaces will be used for grassroots organisations and members of the community to work with firefighters and police officers to conduct community engagement programmes.