Get Singapore Civil Defence Force essential facts below. View Videos or join the Singapore Civil Defence Force discussion. Add Singapore Civil Defence Force to your PopFlock.com topic list for future reference or share this resource on social media.
The Singapore Civil Defence Force (abbreviation: SCDF; Malay: Pasukan Pertahanan Awam Singapura; Chinese; Tamil? ) is the main agency in charge of the provision of emergency services in Singapore during peacetime and emergency.
Statue of firefighters in front of the Civil Defence Heritage Gallery, co-located with Central Fire Station
As early as 1855, Singapore's first Fire Committee was formed after a fire in Kling Street destroyed S$13,000 worth of property on 7 November 1855. Prior to this, fires were attended to by uniformed groups which included the police, sepoys, marine soldiers and even convicts. On 7 September 1869, the Governor Major-General Sir Harry St. George Ord enacted the Fire Ordinance and appointed the Colonial Engineer as Chairman of the Fire Commission for Singapore. In 1888, the Singapore Fire Brigade was established and with sufficient funding, gained recognition as a fully equipped professional brigade. By 1909, there were a total of three built stations servicing Singapore, namely Central Fire Station at Hill Street, Cross Street and Kallang Fire Stations.
Over the early years of independence, the Singapore Fire Brigade faced several major incidents, such as the Bukit Ho Swee Fire of 1961, the Robinson Fire of 1972, and the Spyros explosion and fire of 1978. In 1980, the Singapore Fire Service (SFS) became the official name for the brigade. In 1982, the National Civil Defence Plan was launched which spearheaded the emergency preparedness for the nation. With the enactment of the Civil Defence Act in 1986, the SCDF was established as an independent organisation under the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). In the same year, the Hotel New World disaster paved the way for joint operations between the SCDF and Singapore Fire Service (SFS). Due to the similarity in roles and functions, the SCDF and SFS were formally integrated on 15 April 1989.
The newly integrated SCDF mainly used facilities which were handed over from the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) or the Singapore Police Force (SPF). Since the early 2000s, its headquarters and territorial divisions have all moved into purpose-built facilities. SCDF's involvement in regional disaster relief operations has also raised its profile significantly.
SCDF is led by a Commissioner and 3 Deputy Commissioners in charge of Strategy & Corporate Services, Operations & Resilience and Future Technology & Public Safety.
The SCDF is branched into seven Operational and Training Divisions beneath the Headquarters Element. Of these, four are Territorial Divisions, each covering a section of Singapore corresponding roughly to the four cardinal points of the compass. Each division possesses its own bunkered and mobile Command Centres, Hazmat response capabilities, as well as full internal administration structures.
The two core training establishments, namely the Civil Defence Academy (CDA) and National Service Training Institute (NSTI), while not covering any territory or have any primarily operational concerns, are recognised as divisions unto themselves with full administration, supply and support units. These units become operationally active as the 5th and 6th SCDF Divisions respectively in times of emergency or war.
Since 1 April 2012, the SCDF Marine Division has been set up and possesses the capability and capacity to respond to marine fire and rescue incidents.
The administration office tower of HQ SCDF
The Headquarters complex of SCDF contains the Command Centre for all operations nationwide. It is co-located with the DART (Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team) Base, Central Supply Base and Paya Lebar Fire Station in a secured compound on Ubi Avenue 4.
In addition to command and control, logistics, and operational facilities, HQ SCDF is also made up of an administration structure consisting of numerous staff departments. These staff departments, listed below, co-ordinate and carry out the administration of various key aspects of the force, under the command of the Commissioners and Department Directors.
Tampines Fire Station, co-located with the Headquarters of the 2nd SCDF Division
Sengkang Fire Station, under the 3rd SCDF Division
The 1st Division oversees operations in the general south of Singapore, stretching from Clementi to the Central Business District (CBD). It also oversees Jurong Island, an important oil refining centre. The division headquarters is located at Queensway, behind Alexandra Hospital, together with the Queenstown Neighbourhood Police Centre and Alexandra Fire Station.
Fire Stations: Central, Alexandra(Hazmat), Clementi, Jurong Island(Hazmat), Bishan, Banyan, Marina Bay, Sentosa
The 2nd Division oversees operations in the east of Singapore, including Paya Lebar, where the HQ complex is located, as well as Changi Airport. The headquarters are located in Tampines, co-located with the Tampines Fire Station.
Fire Stations: Paya Lebar, Changi, Tampines(Hazmat), Kallang
The 3rd Division covers the northern segment of Singapore and is headquartered at Yishun together with Yishun Fire Station.
Fire Stations: Yishun, Ang Mo Kio, Sengkang
The 4th Division oversees operations in the west of Singapore and is headquartered at Bukit Batok, together with Bukit Batok Fire Station.
Fire Stations: Jurong, Tuas(Hazmat), Woodlands, Bukit Batok, Tuas View
The SCDF Marine Division is in charge of marine fire fighting. It is headquartered at Pulau Brani, together with Brani Marine Fire Station.
Fire Stations: West Coast (Marine), Brani (Marine)
The Civil Defence Academy (CDA) conducts training courses for various vocations and specialisations, ranging from firefighters to medics to physical training instructors (PTIs) and officers, both senior and junior. Although primarily to prepare recruits freshly graduated from the BRTC for operational duty, the CDA also frequently hosts guest trainees from outside the SCDF, including fire brigades and emergency crews from other nations. While courses such as the International Fire-fighting Course are specially designed and held for these guests, some of these guests trainees train together with Singapore trainees in the Section Commander Course (SCC) and/or Rota Commander Course (RCC), graduating together with NSFs and regulars as either junior specialists or senior officers.
The National Service Training Institute (NSTI) comprises two centres, the Basic Rescue Training Centre (BRTC) and In-Camp Training Centre. The BRTC trains enlistees, with a new battalion of 3-4 companies passing out every quarter with competency in basic rescue skills as well as an adequate level of fitness. The In-Camp Training Centre trains Operationally Ready NSmen. There are detention barracks within NSTI. It also functions as the SCDF Provost Unit centre. Subunits are also located within SCDFDB itself.
Both the CDA and NSTI complexes are co-located in Choa Chu Kang, along Jalan Bahar.
SCDF contingent during NDP 10 mobile column
The Marine Firefighting Vessel of the SCDF Marine Division participating in a chemical spill simulation exercise
The Singapore Civil Defence Force maintains a large fleet of custom-made vehicles (referred to as appliances) to provide an emergency response force capable of mitigating any and all kinds of fires and disasters. Ranging from the generic fire truck and ambulance, to more sophisticated mobile command structures and disaster mitigation vehicles such as Hazardous Materials (Hazmat) Pods, many of the appliances were designed and commissioned by the Force itself which prides itself in customising its own fleet as opposed to obtaining ready-made designs from industries. This is directed towards improving the Force's response capability towards an increasingly large variety of emergency scenarios and threats, in addition to basic firefighting and paramedical services, particularly in the Singapore context.
The following list of appliances is not exhaustive.
Paramedical response vehicles
Often referred to as the "Alpha", the white and red SCDF ambulance forms the backbone of Singapore's medical emergency response capability and is the most widely deployed appliance. Each ambulance is staffed by an ambulance driver, a paramedic, and an emergency medical technician. Occasionally, a Fire & Rescue Specialist (FRS) or ERS trainee may also be attached to an ambulance unit.
SWIFT (Station With Immediate First-aid Treatment)
The SWIFT is a "Transformer" vehicle and functions as a mobile hospital. On the roads, it takes the form of a vehicle roughly the size of a small bus, and expands on both sides when it reaches the incident site. When fully deployed, it is capable of treating a large number of patients concurrently on operating tables that slide out beneath its "wings".
This vehicle is designed for mass-casualty events requiring on-site treatment capabilities and has yet to be used in active service to this date.
Medical Support Vehicle (MSV)
The new and enhanced Medical Support Vehicle (MSV), built for mass casualty incidents, provides improved pre-hospital medical care for both peacetime and national emergencies. The MSV provides a clean environment for SCDF paramedics to perform on-site stabilisation and critical invasive medical treatments.
SCDF's new fleet of 3-wheeler Fire Bikes
SCDF Piaggio MP3 three-wheeler Fire bikes affectionately known as the Red Scorpions are strategically deployed at 40 locations island-wide providing a prompt response to both fire and medical cases. These fire bikes are able to weave through traffic providing a faster response to emergency incidents.
Armed with the new backpack Compressed air foam, these fire bikes are capable of extinguishing fires such as household fire and vehicle fire. Equipped with an automatic/automated external defibrillator (AED), these fire bikes are also deployed with the regular SCDF ambulance unit for life-threatening emergencies such as cardiac arrest or active seizure cases.
SCDF's latest Red Rhino v2.1 on the left, and v2.0 on the right
Light Fire Attack Vehicle (LFAV aka Red Rhino)
First introduced in 2000, the Light Fire Attack Vehicle (LFAV), or better known as the Red Rhino, was specially designed to be more compact than a traditional fire engine, allowing it to be more agile and able to be deployed closer to the heart of any fire or rescue incident.
In 2009, the Red Rhino received further design and construction enhancements. The 2nd version of the Red Rhino is designed to be smaller and lighter than the original version, allowing better accessibility in tight and narrow spaces.
In 2016, the 5th version of the LFAV was released, called the LF5G.
The version 5 of the Red Rhino features a 3.0L Turbo engine with 4WD, Automatic transmission with automated PTO, 500GPM Pump, 150 litres of foam concentrate tank and 2 x backpack Compressed Air Foam (CAF) capable of responding to a variety of fire and rescue incidents, and is more agile and compact compared to Gen 1 and 2.
In 2018, the 6th generation of the LFAV was unveiled in the SCDF Workplan Seminar 2018, called the LF6G.
Instead of the traditional 4 man crew in the previous LFAV generations, the LF6G features an accompanying compact robot, named the Red Rhino Robot (3R). This was developed to work in tandem with the LF6G as SCDF explored deeper into the integration of robots with frontline operations to combat the challenge of increasing the efficiency and operational capabilities of a limited workforce. While the signature "Red Rhino" LFAV of SCDF is traditionally manned by a crew of 4, the LF6G is envisioned with a 3+1 concept consisting of 3 firefighters and a 3R. The 3R is designed to fit into the rear passenger compartment of the LF6G and its small size enables it to go deep into the incident site in order to go up close to the seat of the fire without risking the lives of responders. This robot is designed to conduct reconnaissance operations to locate the seat of fire through the use of thermal imaging and relay the information to the operator. The operator will then be able to initiate firefighting operations; with the robot effectively able to mitigate a fire within confines of approximately 15m2. The 3R measures 0.91m long, 0.45m wide, 0.6m high and weighs about 80kg. 
Generation E of the SCDF Pump Ladder featuring a Compressed Air Foam (CAF) pump
Pump Ladder (PL)
SCDF has a fleet of operational fire engines or Pump-Ladders deployed at every Fire Station across Singapore. These vehicles are equipped with rescue equipment and fire-fighting accessories. The fire engine has a water tank that can store 2,400 litres of water used for fire-fighting operations and 1,200 litres of foam tank.
To enhance the decontamination capabilities of the Force, these PLs have been retrofitted with the necessary accessories to set up Hasty Decontamination of casualties in a chemical incident. The decontamination lanes can be set up within four minutes, and each lane is able to decontaminate up to 36 walking casualties or six lying casualties per hour.
The Generation E of the PL features the latest Compressed Air Foam System technology and a dedicated hasty decontamination facility.
A Combined Platform Ladder (CPL)
Combined Platform-Ladder (CPL)
CPL is a hydraulic ladder-platform which is commonly used by firefighters to conduct external firefighting and rescue operations involving high-rise buildings. There are two types of CPLs in SCDF - one that reaches up to 32/34 metres (depending on variant) and another that has an operating height of 53m. The Combined Platform Ladder 60M (CPL60) is the latest addition to SCDF's aerial firefighting and rescue capabilities. It is able to extend its platform ladder up to a maximum height of 60m, or the equivalent of a 20-storey building. The CPL60 is equipped with a water monitor capable of discharging water at the rate of 3,800 litres per minute, and a rescue cage that can hold up to 500kg. With the addition of the CPL60 to its existing fleet of CPL34m and Aerial Ladder 56m, SCDF ground commanders are presented with a range of tactical options for the deployment of high-rise fire and rescue operations.
Breathing Apparatus Tender (BAT)
The BAT is a support appliance which will be deployed for all major incidents to provide the fire-fighting crews with adequate breathing apparatus sets to manage prolonged operations. It is also equipped with thermal image cameras and gas detectors to facilitate rescue operations during smoke-logged conditions.
Damage Control Tender (DCT)
The DCT is deployed for all major incidents to support the fire-fighting crews with ventilation and water extraction operations. In the DCT are advanced equipment that can expediently blow or extract smoke from smoke-logged areas, or remove water from flooded areas.
Fire and Rescue Operations Support Tender (FROST)
The FROST is designed to integrate the features of two existing support vehicles, the Breathing Apparatus Tender and the Damage Control Tender. FROST combines the capabilities of the two and has ventilation equipment, breathing apparatus and search equipment, among other features. It halves the manpower needed for these functions from eight to four.
Tracked Firefighting Vehicle (TFV)
Several Bandvagn 206 (Bv206) were transferred from the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) to the SCDF, painted in the SCDF colours of red and white, and subsequently fitted with the necessary firefighting equipment and capabilities. The TFV is designed for use in forested areas where wheeled vehicles may have difficulty in reaching.
Modular Oil Tank Firefighting System (MOTFS)
The Modular Oil Tank Fire-Fighting System (MOTFS) is the new generation of SCDF's oil tank fire fighting system to be operational in 2020. This fire-fighting system will bring substantial strategic operational advantage to SCDF due to its enhanced fire-fighting capabilities to discharge foam to large-scale fires for up to 100,000 litres per minute, as well as drafting water supply directly from open source such as from the sea or marine vessels. The laying of fire-fighting equipment on site is always the most resource-intensive but with the MOTFS, its equipment comes in a modular form and this allows it to be quickly deployed in various combinations to match the scale of the incident.
Unmanned Firefighting Machine (UFM)
The UFM, which was launched in April 2014, is a remote controlled fire-fighting unit built to operate in extreme heat and hazardous environments, by using high velocity airflow to create ventilation in smoke-logged areas, and intense water mist, jet or foam to put out fires. In 2015, SCDF adapted its UFM, adding a rail kit so that it can put out fires and conduct ventilation operations in Mass Rapid Transport (MRT) train tunnels. The rail kit, which is powered by the UFM's built-in hydraulic system, enables the unit to manoeuvre in tunnels and other rail tracks, at a speed of 40km/h.
Pumper Firefighting Machine
The custom-built Pumper Firefighting Machine can traverse up and down a staircase, fit into passenger lifts and penetrate through premises with a maximum temperature of 250 degree Celsius for up to 10 minutes. Other unique features include a rotating nozzle that can project water mist in 360 degree angles to quickly lower room temperatures and a high pressure hose reel with a built-in water tank that can allow firefighters to quickly initiate firefighting operations at incidents. Its resistance to heat also means that firefighters will be less exposed to risk during firefighting operations.
Hazmat Mitigation Vehicle
SCDF's latest additions to its fleet of Hazmat appliances is the Hazmat Mitigation Vehicle (HMV). The HMV offers a swift and integrated response by accommodating all the HazMat Incident Team members and specialised equipment in one multi-compartment vehicle.
Another novelty of the HMV is its vehicle-in-vehicle concept, where a Hazmat Utility Buggy (HUB) housed at the rear of the appliance can be quickly unloaded and used to assess incident developments, transport equipment and even convey casualties out of the hazard area. With the HMV, SCDF is able to enhance its monitoring of large areas of operations, as well as improve the survivability of the casualties.
The Hazmat Decon Pod sucks in contaminated air and purifies it at a high rate to remove atmospheric toxic material and render an area more hospitable for work following a chemical, biological or radiological (CBR) incident.
Personnel Decontamination Vehicle (PDV)
The size of a large bus, the PDV is one of the largest operational appliances that the SCDF has. It is the main mode of transport and response of Special Rescue Unit, housed at the four divisions. It is also designed to cater for mass casualty incidents involving (CBR) substances and is fully equipped to decontaminate, by shower, a large number of casualties at one go when deployed.
Outside HazMat incidents, it functions as a troop carrier for the Special Rescue Battalion (SRB), as well as a super-ambulance capable of evacuating an entire busload of casualties to hospital for treatment.
Special Decontamination Vehicle (SDV)
The SDV, in addition to performing the function of the Hazmat Decon Pod, also decontaminates the terrain with a large amount of water and carries specialised equipment used by the Special Rescue Unit (SRT), which specialises in decontamination, large fire and rescue operations and mass casualty ambulance conveyance.
Mass Decontamination Vehicle (MDV)
The Mass Decontamination Vehicle (MDV) performs 3 functions - decontamination of mass casualties, conveyance of casualties and transportation of personnel and equipment. With the MDV, SCDF can double its capacity to decontaminate casualties in HazMat incidents.
HazMat Control Vehicle
the 2nd generation of the HazMat Control Vehicle was unveiled in 2018. It has a small cylindrical chemical detector placed atop the new HazMat Control Vehicle, which will allow the HazMat Emergency Assessment and Response Team (HEART) to detect and monitor chemical release from up to 5km away. Previously, all chemical detections had to be done at point source, meaning the detector must come into contact with the chemical before being identified. This new feature will allow the team to identify chemical hazards more efficiently, while ensuring their safety. It can accommodate up to 3 HEART officers. It is also fitted with a launchpad for drones AKA Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). Officers can use it to deploy drones, attached with chemical detectors weighing up to 5kg. With a flight time of up to 20 minutes, the drones will enable the officers to measure not only the geographical spread of contamination over a long distance, but also the height of the spread.
A Forward Command Vehicle (FCV) belonging to the 1st Civil Defence Division
Forward Command Vehicle (FCV)
The FCV is a larger version of the command post and is deployed at the Division Level. It serves the purpose of a mobile communications and control centre and is deployed during more serious incidents requiring division-level advanced command capabilities.
Command Vehicle (CV)
SCDF maintains a fleet of five Command Vehicles, which together function as a mobile headquarters command and control centre. The vehicles are the size of a large bus, and when deployed, the body of the vehicle stretches to thrice its size on the road, allowing ample space inside the vehicle for personnel and essential computer and communications equipment.
These Command Vehicles are only deployed to strategic locations to provide forward tactical headquarters capability in major incidents or high-risk events, such as the IMF-World Bank conference held in Singapore in 2006.
Hazmat Command Vehicle (HCV)
The Hazmat Command Vehicle is essentially a Command Post specifically designed for command and control during a CBR incident. It is equipped for this task with a wide array of instruments and sensors which can, for example, monitor and help predict toxic material presence and dispersion in the wind.
Heavy Rescue Tender (HRT)
Like the SRT, the HRT is used primarily by the DART unit, and carries specialised equipment catering to uncommon or major incidents, such as structural collapses and underwater rescue. The special equipment is carried in modular containers which can be interchanged to suit the operation before being deployed, and the vehicle possesses a crane as well.
DART Rescue Vehicle (DRV)
The DART Rescue Vehicle (DRV) -- almost 10m in length and weighing 9.5 tonnes -- has more room in the personnel cabin to allow DART officers to change into various protective equipment en route to the incidents. The personnel cabin has also been equipped with a mini projector, allowing DART commanders to conduct operational briefings while on the move. The DRV, which can accommodate up to eight DART officers, is also fitted with side compartments to store equipment which are frequently used, such as ropes, hydraulic rescue tools and rescue nets. The equipment that is heavier and less frequently used like diving tanks will be stored in modular compartments. Lastly, the DRV also has a crane which is able to take up to 7.9 tonnes in weight, compared to 6 tonnes previously. It is primarily used to load other rescue vehicles like the DART skid loader, which is used to access confined spaces in collapsed buildings, for example.
In 2012, the Singapore Civil Defence Force took over responsibility from the Maritime Port Authority for fighting maritime fires. By 2019, the SCDF Marine Division had retired some old fireboats, and added six new modern vessels, bringing the size of the firefighting fleet to eight vessels. One of the new vessels, the Red Sailfish, is the most powerful fireboat in the world so far.
SCDF maintains a rescue contingent on 24-hour standby under the codename Operation Lionheart to provide rescue and humanitarian assistance and support to countries stricken by major disasters. Since its formation in 1990, the Operation Lionheart contingent had responded to 16 overseas missions.
Below is the breakdown of the missions:
Baguio City Earthquake
Baguio City, Philippines
Highland Towers Collapse
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tai Chung County Earthquake
Asian Tsunami Disaster
Asian Tsunami Disaster
Khao Lak, Thailand
Nias Island, Indonesia
Rokan Hilir Bush Fires
South Asian Earthquake
Central Java Earthquake
Central Java, Indonesia
Padang City Earthquake
Christchurch, New Zealand
Soma City, Japan
Thailand, Forest Fire
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Ranks and badges
These ranks feature the following charges:
Chevrons -- a V-shaped marking
Curved Bar -- a U-shaped marking
Pips -- Four-sided starbursts with the crescent and stars from the National Arms of Singapore at the centre
National Arms -- The National Arms of Singapore when used as a rank insignia is rendered differently from its original depiction. The rank version of the National Arms still depicts the lion, tiger and the shield with the crescent & five stars. However, the rank version of the National Arms replaces the original water spurts with palm laurels and does away with the motto-scroll bearing "Majulah Singapura"
Commissioner's Badge -- Two axes in saltire within laurels
The ranks are displayed here in descending order from highest seniority at the top to lowest at the bottom.
(COMR) Commissioner -- Commissioner's Badge, topped with a pip and the National Arms, in that order
(DC) Deputy Commissioner -- Commissioner's Badge, topped with the National Arms
(SAC) Senior Assistant Commissioner -- Commissioner's Badge, topped with two pips
(AC) Assistant Commissioner -- Commissioner's Badge, topped with a pip
(COL) Colonel -- three National Arms
(LTC) Lieutenant-Colonel -- two National Arms
(MAJ) Major -- one National Arms
(CPT) Captain -- three pips
(LTA) Lieutenant -- two pips
(WO2) Warrant Officer(2) -- National Arms enclosed by a curved bar below and two inverted chevrons above
(WO1) Warrant Officer(1) -- National Arms enclosed by a curved bar below and an inverted chevron above
Civil Defence Triangle -- awarded to personnel who participated in the rescue operations for the Hotel New World disaster
Bridge Watchkeeping Officer Badge
In addition to these badges, badges awarded across Home Team agencies such as the Home Team Trainer badge are worn. Officers seconded to ICA are also allowed to wear ICA Domain badges.
K9 Search Tab
Trauma Paramedic Tab
Fire Investigation Tab
Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)
These tabs are worn on the left sleeve directly below the epaulette and above the IPPT badge. An officer has to continually pass the relevant proficiency certification test to be allowed to wear any one tab.
On 13 May 2018, full-time national serviceman (NSF) CPL Kok Yuen Chin died after falling into a fire station's pump well while celebrating his impending operationally ready date (ORD) with his squad mates. Two SCDF regular personnel were placed under arrest over the incident which appears to have arisen from ragging activity.
In March 2016, former SCDF Lieutenant-Colonel Goh Wee Hong was charged under the Protection from Harassment Act after unlawfully stalking a woman in August 2015. However, he was cleared of the charge in December 2016 after he compounded the matter for S$4000.
In October 2015, a former director Jeganathan Ramasamy of the SCDF was sentenced to 10 weeks' jail for misappropriating two iPads in September 2011. He had allegedly assumed the two iPads obtained from SCDF vendors were for personal use, and had given one to his daughter and sold the other to another senior director Eric Yap Wee Teck who became Commissioner SCDF.
On 17 August 2015, SCDF serviceman Pte Shek Salmin Bin Murad committed suicide at around 1am because of an alleged abuse of authority by his superior, and problems he was facing at home. Shek alleged that he was given four days' detention for being late; and a week or two after he was released from detention, he was charged for being late again, and was supposed to get charged on Monday 17 August, the date that he committed suicide. SCDF extended condolences.
SCDF Firefighter Hirahman Ramli, 29, was jailed for two weeks after headbutting and punching Yam Kian Wing outside a petrol kiosk in Bukit Panjang Ring Road in August 2014.
On 19 December 2011, former Chief of the Singapore Civil Defence Force Peter Lim Sin Pang was arrested on graft charges in connection with the Prevention of Corruption Act relating to an IT contract. Peter Lim Sin Pang was eventually dismissed from service formally in August 2013 and found guilty. He was granted early release from his six-month jail term but he was placed on home detention from 27 September 2013.