New vehicles to boost SCDF capabilities in case of chemical attack
SCDF launches new vehicles to help with responding to potential chemical, biological attacks
Should a hazardous material (HazMat) attack happen, one of the most important things would be to detect and monitor the spread of toxic gases.
For that, drones are needed.
The Singapore Civil Defence Force's (SCDF) new HazMat Control Vehicle (HCV) would be able to launch these unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for real-time aerial monitoring of affected sites.
The three-man HCV was displayed during this year's workplan seminar, held yesterday at the Singapore University of Technology and Design.
Minister for Home Affairs and Law K. Shanmugam was the event's guest-of-honour.
Lieutenant-Colonel Ryan Ong, assistant director at the SCDF's HazMat Department, helped design the HCV.
Pointing to the UAV on its launchpad, he told TNP: "This UAV is specially mounted with chemical detectors so we can use it to do monitoring in the sky and determine whether there is any chemical, biological or radiological contamination."
He said different detectors can be fixed to the UAV to detect different materials, and the UAV can carry a maximum load of 5kg.
The HCV also has a chemical standoff detector on its roof,a breakthrough that allows it to conduct long-range detection and monitoring on a range of chemicals up to a distance of 5km.
By the end of the year, the SCDF will have three HCVs in operation.
Yesterday, the SCDF officially unveiled its new Dart Rescue Vehicle (DRV) for its elite rescue team which handle complex rescue and firefighting incidents.
The DRV has a personnel cabin, which allows eight Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (Dart) officers to be briefed and suited up enroute to rescue operations.
Captain Kelvin Koh, a Dart rota commander, told TNP the DRV will help with operations planning before officers arrive at disaster sites.
He said that this would enhance work efficiency by "meaningfully engaging personnel during the response time".
At the seminar, Mr Shanmugam launched a new Red Rhino Robot that will reduce the manpower required to respond to fires.
He said having a robot fight fires also enhances SCDF's ability to deal with the fires.
He said: "SCDF has had a strong culture of innovation, bringing in technology for operational, practical purposes.
"Technologies like the UAVs, fire medical vehicles and the unmanned firefighting machines.
"All of these have increased SCDF's operational readiness and ability to fight emergencies that arise, and save lives."