Mass fire drill to see record 62,000 participants

GlobalFoundries Singapore's emergency response team suiting up for the Mass Fire Evacuation Drill yesterday. The month-long campaign is aimed at promoting fire safety and emergency preparedness in commercial and industrial buildings, as well as commu
GlobalFoundries Singapore's emergency response team suiting up for the Mass Fire Evacuation Drill yesterday. The month-long campaign is aimed at promoting fire safety and emergency preparedness in commercial and industrial buildings, as well as community centres and educational institutions.ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO
The Singapore Civil Defence Force's aerial firefighting and rescue vehicle, the Combined Platform Ladder 34m, in action during the exercise.
The Singapore Civil Defence Force's aerial firefighting and rescue vehicle, the Combined Platform Ladder 34m, in action during the exercise.ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO

Two workers accidentally start a fire in a scrubber yard after getting into a scuffle and damaging some flammable items.

As a result, the fire alarm at semiconductor manufacturing firm GlobalFoundries Singapore's main building goes off, prompting its company emergency response team to spring into action to keep the situation under control before the Singapore Civil Defence Force arrives.

About 1,200 employees end up being evacuated from the building in Woodlands Industrial Park. Thankfully, there are no casualties.

This scenario was carried out yesterday during the launch of the 15th edition of the annual Mass Fire Evacuation Drill (MFED).

Organised by the National Fire and Civil Emergency Preparedness Council (NFEC), the month-long campaign is aimed at promoting fire safety and emergency preparedness in commercial and industrial buildings, as well as community centres and educational institutions.

Last year's MFED was launched at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital. A total of 54,000 participants across 277 premises were involved.

This year's campaign will involve about 62,000 participants across 260 premises, the highest number of participants since MFED started in 2005.

 
 

Mr Daryl Sng, 28, safety engineer and programme lead for the emergency response team in GlobalFoundries Singapore, said: "It was one of the biggest drills we have had. It was fulfilling to see that it went well and it was an excellent opportunity for the team."

He added: "Every drill really helps to build up our confidence and reminds us of the importance of the team's capabilities to handle emergencies."

The emergency response team of each company is made up of a group of employees identified to be trained as in-house first responders, in order to prevent emergencies from escalating.

At GlobalFoundries Singapore, 32 drills are held annually.

Its team, made up of more than 300 employees, receives different types of emergency training at least once a month.

Mr Alan Loh, chairman of NFEC, said: "Today's Mass Fire Evacuation Drill has reminded all of us to be prepared for any foreseeable emergencies at all times. Let us work together to publicise the importance of emergency preparedness and community first response, and make our workplaces and the community safe and secure."

Correction note: This article has been edited to reflect the correct name of the National Fire and Civil Emergency Preparedness Council.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 03, 2019, with the headline 'Mass fire drill to see record 62,000 participants'. Print Edition | Subscribe