Singapore Civil Defence Force - Alexandra Fire Station

Recently I joined 2012-13 Fulbrighter Chris on an open house of a local fire station, located at Alexandra near the Queenstown MRT stop. Their policy upon receiving an emergency call - 1 minutes to leave the station and 8 minutes to reach the spot. Any call within Singapore. There are a few other fire posts scattered throughout the island but this is still impressive.

They took us through the various trucks and other response vehicles, which you can see in the photos at the bottom.. They even did quick demos of their fire pole (which they apparently use with a unique one arm technique) and of their fire hose, which you can see below. Chris, being an actual volunteer firefighter himself, declined, while I hopped up to give it a whirl. Sadly, I didn't consider how wet I would get after using the hose (what? it sprays lots of water?), but it was fun nonetheless.

One fun fact I learned - young men who turn 18 are able to join the fire department in fulfillment of their two year national service commitment. The three options are military, police, or civil defence force (SCDF).

These open houses are available to the public every Saturday morning. Visiting the station was certainly not your usual tourist activity, but it was a neat glimpse into the work of some of Singapore's public servants.