Sign up for alerts on SCDF app to help fight fires

A new function in the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF)'s myResponder mobile app will alert registered users to cases of minor fires within a 400m radius.
A new function in the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF)'s myResponder mobile app will alert registered users to cases of minor fires within a 400m radius.PHOTO: ITUNES/ SCDF

SINGAPORE - You can now help to fight fires, not just figuratively but in actual fact when there are small fires in the area.

A new function in the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF)'s myResponder mobile app will alert registered users to cases of minor fires within a 400m radius.

Such fires can break out in rubbish chutes or bins, for example, and are usually small, with no risk of spreading and can be swiftly put out, noted SCDF.

As such, the risk to responders is minimal and no training will be required for individuals to attend to minor fire incidents.

Users can accept the fire alert notification, and go on to put out the fires via options such as using a domestic hose, a fire extinguisher, or rubbish chute drencher systems. They can also call SCDF through the app or submit photos and videos of the fire.

The new function was officially launched on Wednesday (April 18) by Mr K. Shanmugam, Law and Home Affairs Minister, at the SCDF's annual workplan seminar.

"Prompt intervention by residents prevents the fire from spreading and also saves valuable SCDF resources, which can be deployed to more urgent incidents," he said in his keynote address.

 

According to SCDF, minor rubbish fires account for around half of residential fires, with the force responding to more than 1,000 of such cases yearly.

Since the fire alert function's soft launch in January, close to 3,000 users have signed up to get the alert. Notifications have been sent out for more than 300 cases of fires.

The function is an extension to the SCDF's existing myResponder app, which was unveiled at the SCDF Workplan Seminar in 2015 to allow registered users to render immediate medical assistance to nearby victims of cardiac arrest.

The app, which has been downloaded more than 80,000 times since its launch, has seen its share of successes. SCDF reports that close to 1,700 users have responded to alerts of cardiac arrest and rendered necessary assistance since the app's inception.

The app will also utilise a GPS geo-location feature, allowing the SCDF Operation Centre to locate incidents to deploy emergency resources swiftly when required.

The SCDF myResponder app is available on the Apple and Google Play app stores.
 
Mr Amos Hoe, 42, a manager, has already signed up for the fire alert notification. 
 
When he received an alert  earlier this month, he rushed  to a burning rubbish bin one street away with a fire extinguisher in hand. 
 
Calling the app “super useful”, Mr Hoe said: “It basically broadens the available resources to include previously untapped personnel in the community.”
 
He added: “And for cardiac arrest victims and fires, time is of the essence.”