Friday 30 May 2014

Sentosa opens new centralised command centre; SCDF's fire station starts operations

By Hoe Pei Shan, The Straits Times, 29 May 2014

POLICEMEN and island rangers can now react more quickly to threats on Sentosa with the opening of a new, multi-million-dollar Joint Command Centre, set up to enhance the island's security as it receives a growing number of visitors.

Opened yesterday, it is a joint initiative of the Singapore Police Force (SPF) and the Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC).

The centre allows, for the first time, centralised monitoring of all CCTV footage on the island around the clock, and can also track the whereabouts of the island's emergency response personnel, who number at about 300.

The command centre is also equipped with live news feeds, 3D-mapping capabilities and digitised emergency protocols.

"In times of contingencies and major incidents, the Joint Command Centre will allow us to have a quick, up-to date, comprehensive situational picture to facilitate decision-making and incident response," said Deputy Assistant Commissioner Melvin Yong Yik Chye, commander of the Clementi Police Division and a deputy director of SPF's operations department.

The addition of the new centre to Sentosa's security infrastructure is "a timely move" in view of growing visitorship, said Mr Koh Piak Huat, Sentosa Leisure Management's operations divisions director.

The island recorded some 20.5 million visitors in 2012 - almost triple the 7.8 million in 2009, before integrated resort Resorts World Sentosa was opened.

A new fire station is also expected to be unveiled on the island in 2016, said Mr Koh.

Attending yesterday's opening was the Second Minister for Home Affairs, Mr S. Iswaran, who was given a tour of the new facility and demonstrations of its features.

In an addendum to the President's Address released last week, the Prime Minister's Office had said upgrading and acquiring new technological capabilities are key to expanding and sharpening the Home Team's abilities.

Such initiatives include body-worn cameras for police officers and cameras in all Housing Board blocks by 2016.

On Sentosa, the rangers, beach patrol officers and other security personnel already carry out regular joint exercises with the SPF and the Singapore Civil Defence Force, said Mr Koh. The new centre is an example of "leveraging technology for timely detection" of threats, he said.

IT engineer Chris Toh, 26, welcomed the station, but said it should have been built sooner. He said: "It is quite obvious that security would need a centralised location to better dispense commands in cases of threats. But it is better late than never."

* Sentosa fire? Help's just round the corner
By Rachel Oh, The Straits Times, 8 Sep 2016

Whether it's a Skyride passenger needing emergency help or a fire at the Merlion, Sentosa now has its own fire station with 20 personnel ready to be deployed at any one time.

The island's first fire station was officially opened yesterday, though it has been up and running since June. It houses two fire engines, a fire bike, an ambulance and a support vehicle.

Previously, the island had a fire post that housed a crew of only five Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) officers manning a Red Rhino and a fire bike.

Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs Amrin Amin, who opened the facility, said the rising number of development projects on Sentosa will lead to increased demand for emergency responses.

"To prepare for this, the SCDF has planned and developed the Sentosa Fire Station to ensure that it maintains a high level of operational readiness and can respond to emergency incidents on the island properly," he said.

Drills conducted on Sentosa by the SCDF crew take into consideration possible emergency scenarios posed by the island's attractions, hotels and residences. For example, a fire simulation at Sentosa's Skyline Luge has the SCDF working together with an in-house response team to evacuate passengers.

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