TEXT: SOL E SOLOMON
PHOTOGRAPHY: FRENCHESCAR LIM
DIGITAL IMAGING: OKTO PIXEL
In 1824, Indian soldiers called Sepoys used nozzles for the first time to fight fires in Singapore. Various sizes of nozzles were introduced in the 1930s to project different water streams used for fighting different types of fire. Today, although the appearance of the nozzles are very different from the past, they both largely serve the same function.
FIBREGLASS FIREFIGHTING HELMET
These were first acquired by the Singapore Fire Brigade in 1959 and used till 1976. They included a rim that protected a fireman’s skull from falling debris. Modern helmets used by the SCDF are made from high-temperature thermoplastics and incorporate a reflective face shield and retractable goggles, enhancing protection for the face and eyes.
CONSTRUCTION BRIGADE FLAG
Active from 1981 to 2002, the SCDF’s Construction Brigade trained men to develop construction skills for emergencies. The flag represents its core principles of courage and strength, and its choice of red symbolises power required in building reconstruction. But it also stands for universal brotherhood and equality. The bricks point to a united and resilient battalion, the yellow shield protects Singapore in its restorative efforts, and the torch represents the brigade as a learning institution.
The double coupling system of older spreaders had a complicated locking mechanism, which made it less user-friendly to firemen wearing rescue gloves. Now, the spreader’s unified single male coupling system easily connects to the power unit’s female coupling, thus improving nimbleness and dexterity.