Jun 27, 2023
SCDF introduces new emergency medical training, fire research centres
Singapore These were unveiled at the Singapore Civil Defence Force's annual workplan seminar. SINGAPORE: An ambulance simulator, a recreation of the environment of a hospital's emergency department,
These were unveiled at the Singapore Civil Defence Force's annual workplan seminar.
SINGAPORE: An ambulance simulator, a recreation of the environment of a hospital's emergency department, and rooms using mixed reality technology to simulate actual incidents: These were all part of a new facility unveiled by the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) at its annual workplan seminar on Monday (Jul 31).
Situated within the Singapore Civil Defence Academy, the National Emergency Medical Service Training Centre (NETC) aims to replicate the operational environment of an ambulance call, said SCDF and the Home Team Science and Technology Agency (HTX) in a media factsheet.
The facility was developed by the SCDF with support from HTX.
Along with the NETC, the SCDF also unveiled a new fire research centre and a mixed-use training premises. These marked the completion of the second phase of the Civil Defence Academy's field training area's redevelopment.
The project comprises three main phases. In the first, SCDF introduced at last year's workplan seminar a new training facility with five laboratories to enhance emergency responders' physical and mental performance.
Phase three will involve the remodelling of its existing furnace building, Civil Defence Academy director and Assistant Commissioner Alan Chow told reporters during a media visit on Friday.
"Phase two looks at elevating ... Emergency Medical Services training, fire and rescue skillsets training and developing new capabilities in terms of fire science and research," he said.
The new NETC will form the "core" of SCDF's para-medical training, the agencies said. In the facility, trainees will work on team preparation and planning prior to arriving at an incident; medical management of the patient on scene as well as on the way to the hospital; and handing over the casualty to hospital staff.
“This facility will not just cater to training and learning purposes but also serve the assessment and certification needs of the EMS fraternity," said NETC head and deputy chief medical officer David Pflug, referring to Emergency Medical Services.
"Leveraging technology, the NETC will incorporate features that will facilitate both individual skills training as well as scenario-based exercises with enhanced realism.”
Trainees start off in one of the NETC's two classrooms, where they are briefed on scenarios and can observe other trainees via live-feed cameras.
Next up, concept rooms which use "immersive projection" via background screens to realistically simulate an on-site operational environment, complete with sound.
The backdrop can be changed based on themes such as residential, industrial and commercial. Mixed reality training can also be conducted here, with trainees donning headsets to view projections of casualties' injuries.
On the same floor as the concept rooms is an ambulance simulator, designed to similar specifications as SCDF's 7th generation ambulances.
The simulator comes equipped with high definition audio and video systems. It aims to enhance the trainee’s familiarity with the operating environment and equipment inside the vehicle, as well as their team's roles and responsibilities.
Trainees can then hand the patient over to the hospital team at a resuscitation room, which replicates the emergency department environment in the hospital.
Near to NETC, SCDF's new fire research centre aims to help with accurate reconstruction of fire scenes for investigative work and to enhance fire safety regulations.
The research centre will also enable data-driven research to design new firefighting technologies, and allow for the development of training pedagogy, said the SCDF and HTX.
Developed jointly with HTX, the centre has a large-scale calorimeter, a device which measures the amount of heat energy evolved during combustion.
The calorimeter has an exhaust hood which can be lowered to the floor or retracted up to 8m high, to allow for the burning of combustibles or structures up to three storeys high. To move bulky items across the centre, there is a 10 tonne overhead crane.
The calorimeter is integrated with a wet scrubber system to process, cool and clean gases and the smoke generated before being discharged into the environment. The scrubber's specifications meet National Environment Agency standards, said SCDF and HTX.
SCDF Deputy Commissioner (Future Technology and Public Safety) Ling Young Ern said that the centre will deepen SCDF and HTX’s expertise and knowledge in fire science and engineering.
"Through the conduct of large-scale burn tests, SCDF will be able to experimentally evaluate the effectiveness of innovative fire safety designs for buildings, validate new firefighting methodologies and obtain empirical data to enhance operations, training and fire safety regulations," he added.
On the forensics front, HTX can also further its research and investigations relating to fire incidents and fire safety related issues, said Ms Lim Chin Chin, who is director of HTX's forensics centre of expertise.
Another new facility showcased at SCDF's workplan seminar was an integrated training complex known as Flash Point. The complex is modelled after mixed-use premises comprising elements of a retail mall, a residence and a transport hub. Live gas fire simulators allow for the modelling of a range of fire and rescue scenarios.
Flash Point also has a mock-up of an MRT station, designed and built with all the features of a standard train station civil defence shelter. This will allow for training involving shelter conversion and management to be conducted.
Separately, there was also the Odyssey, which replicates an underground road tunnel in Singapore. This allows individuals to train for scenarios such as road traffic accidents, vehicle fires and tunnel flooding.
Firefighters and medical personnel can practice rescue techniques of extrication, vehicle stabilisation and mass casualty management.
"When we design our facilities, we design it with the notion of scalability, adaptability," said AC Chow.
"And that allows us to then look at progressive training - from simple training looking at specific skill sets, to more integrated complex training involving different elements of emergency response."