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XXX Restricted Access @ MyQueenstown #5 - Alexandra Fire Station (Part II)

By my queenstown on Sunday, October 24, 2010 with 1 comment

An extensive range of about 22 fire fighting equipment, appliances and vehicles at Alexandra Fire Station allows for maximum response. Some of this equipment are combined ladder platforms, HAZMAT Pods, pump ladders, fire bikes and ambulances.

Combined Ladder Platforms


The combined ladder platform is 30 metres long (or about 10 storeys high) and it is used for saving trapped occupants in drastic conditions.
Firefighters posing in front of the HAZMAT Pods

HAZMAT (acronym for hazardous materials) Pod involves in the mitigation of risks associated with hazardous materials and decontamination of toxic compounds. The vehicle contains protective equipment to protect the response team and the victims from coming into contact with dangerous chemicals to ensure that their exposure to this toxic compounds do not exceed occupational exposure limits. Alexandra Fires Station is one of the 4 stations in Singapore equipped with capabilities to deal with these hazardous materials.

Fire Bikes allow rescue operations to be completed swiftly

Paramedic Bikes

Fire bikes allow fire fighters to reach the site of rescue swiftly and they are particularly useful during traffic jams since bikes can weave through the maze of vehicles easily.

Fast Reponse Light Fire Attack Vehicle-one of the newer additions to the Fire Station

When a phone call is dialled to 995, the operations centre (a.k.a. OPS centre) will locate the site of rescue and send the messages to the respective divisions. A watch-room in the Civil Defence Division is responsible for dispatching the vehicles and necessary equipment required for rescue operations. Each fire engine or section consists of 4 personnel, 2 of whom are section commanders and the remaining 2 are firemen. About 4 to 5 vehicles are normally dispatched to the sites of rescue. The rota commander will then decide if there is need to employ more vehicles at the rescue site.


2 Section Commanders and 2 Firefighters in each Fire Engine

At the rescue site, in the case of fire rescue operation, one section will set up the nozzle and “water jets” for fire fighting; another section will connect the water jets to the risers, fire hydrants or water mains; while the other section will proceed on to rescue the victims. Some of the notable operations mounted by Alexandra Fire Station in recent years include chlorine leakages in Singapore Armed Forces Recreation Association (SAFRA Mount Faber), structure collapse at Fushionopolis and apartment fires in Bukit Merah.


"Nozzle" to be connected to the Fire Quadrant
Portable Water Tank Compartment of the Firefighting Vehicle

Major Ryan Ong, officer commanding of Alexandra Fire Station, explains that extensive damages to goods and properties caused by fires are rare in Queenstown. However, what is more common in Tanglin Halt and Stirling is fires caused by unattended cooking, suicides and traffic accidents at major road arteries in Queenstown.
 

Major Ryan Ong (Right), OC of Alexandra Fire Station


It is important to note that fire outbreaks caused by unattended cooking can cause significant damages to the house and compromise the safety of your families. Residents, who are homemakers and domestic helpers, ought to be more vigilant.

Another source of fire in our area is the number of fires involving discarded items placed at corridors, lift lobbies and void decks. According to the SCDF, there are a total of 380 fires involving discarded items! These types of fires have to potential to be more serious because of the presence of high fire load. Evacuation of occupants in the apartment flat will be hindered too. Hence, bulky furniture and old newspapers should not be placed in the common areas. Residents who require assistance in removing these items can contact the Town Council at 6272 2415. Neighbours who spotted any high-rise fires ought to alert the fire fighters through SCDF hotlines by calling 995.



Besides fire fighting, an important role of the Fire Station and the Civil Defence Force is public education. Hence, Emergency Preparedness Programmes are organised each year to introudce a slew programmes to equip residents with the skills and knowledge to deal with emergency situations. Civil Defence Emergency handbooks are available in four official languages and they are free! Furthermore, the Community Preparedness Programme (or CEPP) offers face-to-face instructions on first aids, fire safety and evacuation, emergency procedures and unconventional threats and it is conveniently available at the 1st CD headquarters at Alexandra Fire Station. Residents with elderly folks who seldom leave their homes ought to refer to the handbook or enroll these training courses for their family members or domestic helpers. A Queenstown community that is well prepared is cornerstone to safety and survival in the community. Residents can call 6471 7429 to enquire or register.

One public education programme is the Emergency Preparedness Day for Queenstown residents. The recently concluded Emergency Preparedness Day drew the community and crowds to the Tanglin Halt Plaza. Paramedics were there to teach residents the proper procedure for CPR and firemen demonstrated the use of fire extinguishers.

The iconic tower


The familiarity of the “tower” at the old Alexandra Fire Station had never failed to attract curious onlookers, particularly the younger ones, who aspired to be a fireman saving lives. The blood and sweat of this group of firemen and paramedics has allowed a safe and secure living environment in Queenstown, knowing that assistance will be swift and reliable whenever we dialled 995. Undoubtedly, the history of the fire station intertwines greatly with our aspirations and the contributions of these firemen form part of the fabric of our society.

Read Also: Restricted Access #4 - Alexandra Fire Station (Part I)

Category: Places , recent , Restricted Access

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1 comments:

chew said...
October 25, 2010 at 10:31 AM

Great write-up!

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