'Realistic' effects to mentally prepare rescuers
Suicide bombers in two bomb-laden cars drive up to some residential apartments and trigger explosives, killing dozens and causing the four-storey building to collapse.
This isn't a plot for a movie but a scenario the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) officers will undergo in Phase 2 of Exercise Northstar on Saturday.
In it, the SCDF rescue battalion will be leading its largest multi-agency rescue operation yet.
Held at the Home Team Tactical Centre, the exercise will see operationally ready national servicemen execute new rescue techniques to deal with more than 100 injured people trapped in unstable structures.
Phase 1 was held at Changi Airport last week.
In Saturday's exercise, SCDF personnel will break concrete structures while suspended in mid-air as well as cut overhead structures.
With pipes damaged from the "explosion", SCDF personnel will also have to rescue civilians trapped underwater.
Colonel Alan Toh, 50, Commander of the 2nd SCDF Division, who oversaw the design of the exercise with nine other officers, said: "The site will challenge the proficiency of the rescue battalion and ensure they are at the top of their game during a national emergency."
Last week, The New Paper toured the exercise site, which featured 15 damaged vehicles and 20 tonnes of debris.
Said Col Toh: "We (will bring) a lot of 'ingredients' to the site to make it more challenging so we can push the limits of our officers."
A lot of make-up, such as fake blood, will be used.
Captain Carolyn Low, 39, an SCDF paramedic and fire officer who is in charge of casualty make-up, said much effort is being taken to make it realistic.
Mock injuries will include fractures and burns.
Said Capt Low: "It is important for the injuries to look real so the rescuers will be mentally prepared to handle and administer appropriate medical procedures and treatment to casualties."
While they drew inspiration from disasterssuch as earthquakes, landslides and floods, the design team ensured the urban site represented areas familiar to Singaporeans.
Said Col Toh: "This is a plausible scenario in today's security environment and we have to be ready for it."