SCDF's Transformation Journey
The Case For Transformation
Today, SCDF is internationally renowned as a world-class, premier life-saving organization with multiple capabilities beyond providing fire-fighting and ambulance services. However, the Force must continually adapt and evolve to meet the challenges arising from an increasingly complex operating landscape. In this regard, the Force is embarking on the next transformation phase.
This is the Transformation Tagline and it serves as a visual reminder to all in the Force that we are working toward Vision 2025 – “A Nation Of Lifesavers”.
The word “Together” represents the fact that it is a collective effort, with close partnership between SCDF and the Community, that will realise this vision.
The Transformation Framework
The successful achievement of SCDF’s Mission remains as the ultimate goal. The Transformation Vision will serve to support the attainment of SCDF’s Mission through service excellence which remains as the key thrust of the Force. Standards will be pushed to instill confidence amongst the public for SCDF’s capabilities and reliability. The Transformation Framework to guide SCDF’s efforts is depicted as follows.
STRATEGIC OUTCOME 1 – Sharpen Operational Edge
The introduction of technology and leveling up of staff competencies will contribute directly towards achieving the first Strategic Outcome – “Sharpen Operational Edge”, which ensures that SCDF’s operational methodologies remain effective to meet future demands, while managing resource constraints. Specifically, SCDF has developed master plans to level up its capabilities in three areas, namely: (a) REALISE – Enhancing SCDF’s situational awareness on the ground; (b) RESPOND – Developing an effective and tiered response model that best calibrates between resources and severity of incident; and (c) REASSURE – Reassuring the public of their safety with the presence of SCDF and Community First Responders (CFR).
STRATEGIC OUTCOME 2– Enable And Empower The Community
Raising community preparedness will continue to remain important in setting a strong foundation for building an emergency-ready nation. In line with this tenet, we will give greater focus on training and galvanizing the public to render first response to emergencies even while awaiting SCDF’s arrival at the incident scene. To this end, a comprehensive community outreach framework has been developed, supported by robust community engagement programs that include all segments (e.g. schools, residents, businesses, etc.). As our society matures, time is right for the community to take greater ownership in ensuring safety and security within their neighborhood and render timely intervention as CFRs.
Realizing the varied commitment levels of individual citizens, SCDF aims to partner and empower the Community by adopting a three-pronged approach namely: (a) ENGAGE – Building awareness amongst the community; (b) ENABLE – Building competencies; and (c) EMPOWER – Empowering community volunteerism in responding to emergencies.
STRATEGIC OUTCOME 3– Institutionalise Safety and Public Protection
The third Strategic Outcome, “Institutionalise Safety and Public Protection” will see SCDF reinforce and infuse the concept of fire safety prevention and public protection into and across the national system, via the effective use of regulatory frameworks and the introduction of laws and Acts, amongst others. The current framework of fire safety and public protection is well established and effective. However, SCDF will continue efforts to examine ways to infuse the ethos of safety and protection across the entire national system by adopting the following three-pronged approach, namely: (a) REGULATE – Tapping on regulations to improve the resilience of infrastructures to fire hazards; (b) COLLABORATE – Adopting a Whole-of-Community approach to Fire Safety; and (c) ENFORCE –Leveraging on education and intervention measures to ensure compliance.
The foundation of SCDF’s Transformation Framework is premised upon two enablers - (a) an Operations-Technology Masterplan, which will see technology being infused across the broad spectrum of SCDF’s operations and work processes to achieve higher organisational performance; and (b) a high-performance organisation, which will see the Force structured in a way to best support the achievement of the strategic changes, primarily in the areas of organisation work processes, structure, human resource management and development.
The Transformation Vision is paradigm-shifting and will necessitate an organisation-wide shift that will span across areas such as the operating model, organisation culture, work process re-design, etc. The change will be gradual to foster acceptance, assimilation and internalisation. To prepare adequately for these changes, the Force must first gear up as a high-performance organisation in order to facilitate the achievement of the Transformation goals.
Enabler 1 – Ops Tech
As a foundation for the Transformation, the Operations-Technology Master plan will provide the catalyst for new technologies for use within SCDF. It will also provide the technological framework and means for developing new operational capabilities.
Next Generation Networks and Platforms
SCDF recognises the value of having Information-Communications Technology (ICT) networks that are able to link and bridge for better communications, data sharing and analytics, and decision-making. SCDF also values having other technology platforms for development of new operational capability.
Better Information and Incident Management
To reap greater potential, systems should not exist in standalone. Common ICT software and codes for proper interfacing should be adopted. Linking of all data generated for the purposes of analytics should also be used.
Leveraging on Performance Enhancement Technologies
To maintain an operational edge, it is critical that SCDF constantly keep abreast of new technologies, harness it and test-bed it for operations. Such experimentation will also enable SCDF to reap productivity gains for our limited manpower resources.
Enabler 2 – High Performance SCDF
The Transformation Vision is paradigm-shifting and will necessitate an organization-wide shift that will span across such areas like operating model, organization culture, work process re-design, etc. The change will be gradual to enable acceptance, assimilation and internalization. For these reasons, the Force must first gear up as a high-performance organization in order to facilitate the achievement of the Transformation goals.
Nurturing of Individuals and the Progressive Upscaling of Capabilities
SCDF acknowledges that its staff are the most valuable resource. All efforts have thus been centralized on a robust staff development framework that ranges from recruitment to retirement, in accordance to individual staff’s aspiration.
Means to develop individual staff‘s fullest potential, to creating paths for career growth, to equipping him/her with the necessary skills to excel towards the next step, will be explored and implemented. This will include an overhauling of the prevailing training regime and the creation of multiple platforms such as self-directed learning, fostering of an environment and culture that is supportive and conducive for staff development, and establishing user-centric methods to distil learning points from operations, etc.
SCDF will also explore methods to level-up the capabilities of its ORNSMen and NSFs to a level that is equivalent to its regular staff, thereby rendering them relevant and effective for daily operations.
Reinforcing an Environment that is Passionate to the Life-Saving Mission
SCDF aims to enhance morale amongst its staff to nurture and facilitate development of every staff, regulars and NSmen alike, to excel as a life-saver, in and out of uniform. There will also be strategic application of emotive appeals to assist them in realizing the important role they play in safeguarding the security of the nation, and by extension, their families. The internalization of the sacredness of their duty as contributing to Singapore’s well-being will see a highly motivated staff with the grit, tenacity, perseverance and dedication to excellence that will lend themselves well to achieving SCDF’s Organization and Transformation Vision.
Fostering A Nimble and Lean Organization
SCDF will aim to transform itself into a lean organisation that operates efficiently, while remaining effective. The Force will wield technology strategically to multiply existing efforts, with a strong emphasis on interoperability to achieve desired results. For example, with technological intervention that can provide a timely and adequate situational picture of an incident, SCDF can develop a tiered-response model where the amount/extent of SCDF resource dispatched is directly proportional to incident severity. The judicious use of limited resources will allow SCDF to be ready and responsive to other more pressing and higher-order incidents.