SCDF unveils new vessels to boost firefighting at sea
Singapore Civil Defence Force unveils new vessels to boost firefighting at sea
To respond quicker to marine emergencies, the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) yesterday introduced two new Rapid Response Fire Vessels (RFVs).
Officially launched by Minister for Law and Home Affairs K. Shanmugam at SCDF's annual workplan seminar, the vessels will each be based at West Coast Marine Fire Station and Brani Marine Fire Station.
One is named Red Swordfish and the other Blue Swordfish.
They are SCDF's first purpose-built vessels, and were designed by the SCDF Marine Command.
Major Noor Azam Kasiri, an operations readiness officer who was involved in the RFVs' development, told The New Paper the vessels are like SCDF's Red Rhinos, but on water.
He said: "With these RFVs, we can get to incidents faster to start assessing the situation, rescuing casualties and mitigating the problem."
The RFVs are capable of reaching a maximum speed of over 40 knots - more than double SCDF's current firefighting vessel, the Marine Fire Vessel.
The RFVs have two water monitors that can discharge 5,000 litres of sea water a minute, and each vessel has platforms to help officers get closer to the water to rescue casualties.
SCDF took over marine firefighting and rescue operations from the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) five years ago.
Colonel Derek Tan, commander of SCDF Marine Command, told TNP that SCDF is at the halfway mark of its 10-year marine transformation journey.
SCDF has built two marine fire stations, retrofitted the vessels they had inherited from MPA and introduced plans to build more vessels.
Singapore was recently named the top maritime capital in the world for the third consecutive time, and its port remains one of the world's busiest and most important.
SCDF Marine Command's area of operations covers all of Singapore's territorial waters, SCDF said it would, by 2019, have three more larger vessels delivered.
One will be the Heavy Marine Fire Vessel, which can handle all types of fire and rescue missions and will have modern decontamination facilities.
SCDF is also developing the Heavy Marine Rescue Vessel, which can evacuate up to 300 casualties, and the Marine Rescue Vessel, a versatile support vehicle.
Another marine fire station, located at Tanah Merah, will be completed in 2022. SCDF will also be opening the Loyang Marine Fire Post in July and a marine outpost in Punggol in 2020.
Col Tan said: "We have to grow our marine capabilities and enhance them, because the sea trade is so important to us."
An RFV will be on static display at the Home Team Show and Festival 2017, which will be held from tomorrow to Sunday at the Singapore Sports Hub.