The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) is set to give more front- line and leadership roles to full-time national servicemen (NSFs) and operationally ready national servicemen (NSmen).
For instance, NSFs from the SCDF's Special Rescue Unit, which provides support for mass casualty incidents, will be trained to respond to a wider range of incidents, such as vegetation, warehouse and oil tank fires.
The move is aimed at creating a more meaningful and enriching national service experience, said Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam and SCDF Commissioner Eric Yap at the SCDF's annual workplan seminar yesterday.
"For NSFs, we recognise the majority today are better educated and trained, and they are also exposed to a variety of responsibilities in school," said Commissioner Yap, adding that the SCDF now offers over 40 per cent of leadership positions for suitable NSFs.
Mr Shanmugam said NSmen will also get more opportunities to assume senior leadership appointments such as the role of deputy division commander.
"These efforts will sharpen SCDF's operational capabilities and provide our SCDF NSmen with a more meaningful NS experience," he said, adding that the move is taking place in a significant year as Singapore marks the 50th anniversary of NS.
Turning lights green
Trials are afoot to turn traffic lights green in favour of emergency vehicles.
These are taking place at a handful of traffic intersections in Yishun.
Oncoming emergency vehicles can send a wireless signal to traffic lights to turn them green, in a system called Green Wave.
It is being developed by the Singapore Civil Defence Force with the Land Transport Authority and ST Engineering.
Apart from NS personnel, the SCDF is taking steps to beef up its corps of regular uniformed officers.
Besides introducing expert career tracks for specialist talent, the SCDF will start a learning and development subsidy for officers and a framework for them to take professional development leave.
It will also join other Home Team agencies, such as the Central Narcotics Bureau and Singapore Prison Service, in adopting a unified and shorter rank structure from July.
The SCDF yesterday also announced the addition of two marine bases to assist its Marine Command in marine firefighting and rescue functions. It took over these responsibilities from the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore in April 2012.
Tiered emergency response framework
The Emergency Medical Services Tiered-Response framework will prioritise 995 calls based on the severity of patients' medical conditions.
This will allow the Singapore Civil Defence Force to deploy resources matching the seriousness of each call.
Here are examples of each tier.
Examples: Cardiac arrest, unconsciousness, respiratory distress, heart attack, active seizure and major trauma.
MEDICALLY SERIOUS EMERGENCIES
Examples: Acute stroke, paediatric emergencies, obstetrics and gynaecological issues.
Examples: Acute appendicitis, bone fractures, asthma, severe abdominal pain, elderly people with multiple chronic medical conditions and sick children.
Examples: Cuts with bleeding, accidents with bruising, swelling and persistent fever.
By the middle of this year, the Loyang Marine Fire Station will be established to enhance emergency response capabilities in the eastern waters, while a new marine outpost will be built in Punggol by 2020.
These bases will add to the existing marine fire stations in West Coast and Brani, and help the Marine Command cover the span of Singapore's territorial waters.
WATCH VIDEO ONLINE
See the EMS tiered-response plan exhibit. http://str.sg/42B8