Officers can track physical and mental fitness at new high-tech facility by SCDF, HTX

Since last December, the team at Excel has collected the data of about 500 new SCDF officers. ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

SINGAPORE - All new Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) officers will now have access to data measuring their physical and mental fitness, which will help them identify areas of improvement during training.

To collect and measure this data, a new research and training facility, the Emergency Responders' Fitness Conditioning and Enhancement Lab (Excel) has been set up.

Jointly developed by SCDF and the Home Team Science and Technology Agency (HTX), the new lab was launched on June 10.

Since last December, the team at Excel has collected the data of about 500 new SCDF officers, including full-time national servicemen (NSFs).

Other Home Team agencies, such as the Singapore Police Force and Immigration and Checkpoints Authority, are exploring ways to tap technology in Excel.

Mr Ying Meng Fai, director of HTX's Human Factors and Simulation Centre of Expertise, said: "Depending on each unit's unique requirements, the use cases range from training to testing pre- and post-training for the evaluation of the effectiveness of training programmes to selection. Excel can also help to monitor the effectiveness of training regimes designed for operational fitness."

Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Lee Soon Huat, head of the Responder Performance Centre, which oversees Excel, said data collected in the new lab will help SCDF create practical and realistic benchmarks for specialist vocations, such as the elite Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team.

LTC Lee said: "Prior to the establishment of Excel, scientific literature on firefighting performance and training research was based on data gathered in the United States.

"Data gathered from our firefighters will allow us to adjust training curriculums if necessary to ensure the efficacy of future courses and programmes.

Full-time national serviceman Yanis Enche' Abdol Rahman, 20, said he finds the machines in the lab very user-friendly.

He said: "While using the body impedance analyser in the Fitness Evaluation Lab, I found out that before and after joining the section commander course, my muscle mass has increased and my body fat percentage has gone down.

"This data shows me how my training has been effective in improving my physical condition."

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