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SCDF to roll out new ambulance that can self-decontaminate and automatically load stretcher

SINGAPORE: The Singapore Civil Defence Drive (SCDF) has unveiled its new seventh-generation ambulance that may self-decontaminate and mechanically load or unload stretchers to scale back the chance of unintentional drops.

The ambulance, which has blue strips on its exterior as an alternative of the standard crimson, additionally comes with a modular storage system that permits medical gear to be rearranged or carried round simply.

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For the ambulance driver, new security options embrace a 360-degree automobile digital camera and parking help.

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Lieutenant-Colonel (Lt Col) Janice Oh, senior assistant director at SCDF’s Emergency Medical Providers Division, mentioned the drive will roll out 26 of those new ambulances in August. They may first change the fifth-generation ambulances earlier than the complete fleet ultimately.

Lt Col Oh instructed reporters on Wednesday (Apr 14) that the brand new ambulance has to cope with present and future pre-hospital emergency challenges, together with the specter of future pandemics.

“Essentially, the new ambulance’s future-proofed capabilities will allow our emergency medical services to operate more effectively and efficiently,” she mentioned at an SCDF showcase as a part of its annual work plan seminar.

The ambulance was developed with the House Group Science and Know-how Company.

READ: SCDF’s coaching academy to endure main revamp over subsequent 3 years to incorporate new services


The brand new ambulance’s in-built decontamination system is designed to “rapidly and effectively” sanitise the inside and gear after transporting infectious sufferers, SCDF mentioned on Thursday.

scdf new ambulance decontaminate
The decontamination system emits a mist of significant oxide. (Picture: Jeremy Lengthy)

It includes a mist system that sprays very important oxide, a non-toxic and non-corrosive disinfectant, to decontaminate the ambulance in 20 minutes, SCDF mentioned, including that that is performed with the press of a button with no wipe-down wanted.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, SCDF personnel decontaminate ambulances which have transported infectious sufferers utilizing particular person misting units which might be saved in hospitals. This course of may take one hour.

WATCH: Life on the frontline: the SCDF ambulance crew

“This (new) system decreases the ambulance’s operational downtime significantly, and increases personnel safety,” SCDF mentioned.

For even higher hygiene, the driving force and entrance passenger seats will likely be fitted with detachable anti-bacterial leatherette covers.


The system that mechanically hundreds and unloads stretchers makes use of digital pulleys to make the method “extremely easy, eliminating the operator’s effort”, SCDF mentioned.

“This system reduces the risk of accidental stretcher drops during loading and unloading,” it mentioned, including that the system is powered by an unbiased battery.

SCDF Workplan (15)
The automated stretcher loading system in motion. (Picture: Jeremy Lengthy)

Nonetheless, the system requires some human intervention for security. Personnel can management the unloading velocity and should make sure the stretcher wheels are engaged earlier than it’s launched on the bottom.

Whereas the automated loading or unloading course of takes about 30 seconds, slower than when it’s performed manually, SCDF believes within the added security for each sufferers and personnel.


The brand new ambulance’s modular storage system options wall-mounted tracks that permits the inside to be reconfigured simply based mostly on operational wants.

SCDF Workplan (11)
The modular storage for medical gear can double up as detachable baggage. (Picture: Jeremy Lengthy)

A wall cupboard may double up as a bag that may be eliminated for portability and to scale back stock house.

“This system allows the ambulance to be quickly unloaded during servicing, thus reducing operational downtime,” SCDF mentioned, including that it additionally improves workflow and stock administration.


The brand new ambulance has three photo voltaic panels on its roof to cost the batteries that energy its digital units and gear.

That is particularly helpful as ambulances are deployed throughout main occasions or at non-fixed areas like group centres to scale back response occasions. These areas often shouldn’t have electrical chargers for the ambulance’s batteries.

READ: Two personal corporations to function 30 SCDF ambulances as a part of new Authorities-contractor mannequin

SCDF mentioned the photo voltaic panels assure excessive effectivity even in low gentle circumstances, and slows put on and tear on the batteries to scale back value.

An clever charging system prioritises and diverts energy to crucial gear on board the ambulance, together with communication, emergency lights and navigation.

“In addition to reduced fuel consumption, these two new features enable more electrical components to be added in future,” SCDF added.


The brand new ambulance will even include a top restrict detector that may decide gantry heights and warn its driver as much as 50m away. This reduces overhead unintentional harm, SCDF mentioned.

Whereas the peak restrict for SCDF ambulances is 2.8m, these limits may be calibrated for particular person autos.

SCDF Workplan (3)
The ambulance’s top restrict detector may be seen on the entrance of its roof. (Picture: Jeremy Lengthy)

A 360-degree digital camera, which supplies a video feed on the driving force’s centre console, offers the driving force a fowl’s eye view with audio and visible warnings when parking and maneuvering. This reduces the chance of collisions, SCDF mentioned.

An intercom has additionally been put in within the entrance and rear cabin for ease of communication.

READ: New SCDF automobile, dubbed ‘first in the world’, can deal with first responders with indicators of warmth harm

Shifting on to software program, the brand new ambulance will likely be geared up with the Operational Medical Networks Informatics Integrator (OMNII), which will likely be carried out within the second half of this yr.

OMNII is a next-generation collaborative platform that hyperlinks stakeholders like SCDF within the pre-hospital emergency care companies, SCDF mentioned.

“It enables authorised parties to view, document, and share relevant patient information throughout the pre-hospital emergency care journey to improve patient care management,” it added.


Additionally as a part of its work plan seminar, the SCDF introduced that it’s going to introduce new command autos that permit commanders to raised handle completely different emergencies.

These command autos, carrying senior SCDF officers like division commanders or its commissioner, are deployed close to an emergency website for command and management over the SCDF’s response.

SCDF Workplan (4)
The brand new command automobile (left) and ahead command automobile. (Picture: Jeremy Lengthy)

The brand new command autos will include a 12m-tall digital camera mast with 30 occasions zoom to observe the incident website, in addition to a big display screen with a number of video feeds to indicate visible and map info from completely different sources, together with physique cameras and SCDF drones.

SCDF mentioned it can roll out the brand new command autos progressively from July.


Whereas routine emergencies like small residential fires would set off the deployment of normal platforms like fireplace vehicles, with a hearth station commander as the general incident supervisor, extra extreme emergencies like bigger manufacturing unit fires would require a extra complete response.

SCDF Workplan (1)
The brand new ahead command automobile. (Picture: Jeremy Lengthy)

Within the latter case, extra platforms and the ahead command automobile (FCV) are deployed, with the division commander appearing as the general incident supervisor.

Throughout larger incidents like a structural constructing collapse, leak of hazardous supplies or an air crash, 5 command autos (CV) are deployed along with the FCV, with the SCDF commissioner appearing as the general incident supervisor.

SCDF Workplan (2)
The command automobile may be deployed to suit 29 individuals. (Picture: Jeremy Lengthy)

Every CV serves distinct features, together with command and operations, joint-planning with associated businesses, and the administration of logistics, info and communications expertise, in addition to media.

CVs have been deployed through the mega oil tank fireplace on Pulau Busing in 2018, and the Nicoll Freeway collapse in 2004.

SCDF Workplan (7)
The video wall within the ahead command automobile. (Picture: Jeremy Lengthy)

The present CVs and FCVs have been in operation because the early 2000s, and the SCDF mentioned the “ageing fleet” is due for alternative, calling it “timely” to enhance capabilities to handle more and more advanced operational terrains.

“We believe that these new capabilities will certainly enhance how our commanders and decision-makers are able to see more, see further and know more … and also improve the overall quality of incident management,” SCDF director of operations Senior Assistant Commissioner (SAC) Daniel Seet mentioned.


Each the brand new CV and FCV will include the retractable mast that may monitor the climate and shine a highlight, along with surveilling the incident website within the day or at night time.

Inside these autos, a mega display screen can present 12 video feeds from numerous sources. This contains information or radio channels, CCTVs from associated businesses, physique cameras worn by responders on the bottom, in addition to cameras on SCDF autos and gear, together with drones.

SCDF Workplan (5)
Personnel could make notes on the video screens. (Picture: Jeremy Lengthy)

Personnel can challenge info and purposes from cellular units on the display screen utilizing wi-fi expertise, an improve from the wired connections on the present autos.

The 12 feeds may be configured to show in numerous sizes or mixtures. In distinction, the present CVs and FCVs solely have three screens.

SCDF Workplan (8)
The ahead command automobile can deploy an out of doors briefing space with in-built presentation display screen. (Picture: Jeremy Lengthy)

“The video wall canvas streamlines information gathering, translating these data into visual dashboards with actionable insights for SCDF commanders to make mission-critical decisions,” SCDF mentioned.

Operations personnel in these autos even have devoted work stations that log actions taken, simulate eventualities and conduct terrain mapping.

SCDF Workplan (13)
The ahead command automobile has compartments to retailer a surveillance drone. (Picture: Jeremy Lengthy)

The FCV’s drone, which may be upgraded to conduct 3D terrain mapping, is ready to fly as much as 100m within the sky whereas on a tethered connection to supply a persistent and better vantage level for commanders monitoring the incident.

The CV, which may be mechanically expanded utilizing one button to suit extra individuals than the FCV, will also be deployed by two officers in lower than 20 minutes, in comparison with the 4 officers taking half-hour for the present CV.

The CV’s cabin, when expanded, measures greater than 6m lengthy and huge and may match 29 individuals when deployed.


The brand new CVs and FCVs, developed along with the Defence Science and Know-how Company and ST Engineering, are additionally designed with clear planning and operations areas to scale back work disruption throughout operations.

“The design integrates human factors engineering to optimise conditions for prolonged deployment and minimise operational fatigue,” SCDF mentioned. 

This contains placing desk and seats at a “comfortable height” based mostly on beneficial head tilt and eye rotation angles.

SCDF Workplan (10)
The cabin of the command automobile. (Picture: Jeremy Lengthy)

SAC Seet mentioned the areas and work stations are organised intuitively by way of how officers are “functionally clustered” after they monitor incidents.

“We believe that this will also have a very positive impact in terms of how our information flow and processes are,” he added.

“Over the next few months, the SCDF will be going through the paces to learn how we operate this system as well as the capability support, and we really look forward to putting these vehicles into operations very soon.”

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