Raising firefighting capabilities with technology and training

Airport Emergency Service adds new state-of-the-art fire vehicles in preparation for additional facilities such as Jewel Changi Airport and Runway 3.

Three new types of vehicles were commissioned to boost AES’ firefighting capabilities.


The Airport Emergency Service (AES) team is on standby at all times, to ensure the safety of all flights and passengers at Changi.

To further boost the team’s capabilities, five new vehicles have been added to AES’ impressive fleet, and they were recently commissioned by the CEO of Changi Airport, Mr Lee Seow Hiang, on 4 May, to commemorate AES’ 70th anniversary this year.

The Rosenbauer Foam Tender can store up to 12,500 litres of water and 1,500 litres of foam.


The new fleet now boasts the Rosenbauer Foam Tender, also known as the Panther, which has an impressive storage capacity of 12,500 litres of water and 1,500 litres of foam. The high-performance vehicle can go up to a speed of 120km/hr and can go from 0 to 80km/hr in under 32 seconds, faster than its predecessors. In addition, the Panther’s Roof Turret can now throw a distance of about 10 metres more than before, allowing firefighters to fight fire at safer distance from the incident site.

Apart from enhanced performance capabilities, the state-of-the-art foam tender also has smart safety features to protect firefighters, such as Roll Stability Control which reduces the risk of vehicle overturning when maneuvering corners, and specially designed cabins that allows equipment to be stowed safely.

The Emergency Airstairs features smart docking technology, allowing automated stairs deployment.


Another addition to the fleet is the new and upgraded Emergency Airstairs (EAS). The EAS can reach heights of up to 8.45 metres high for firefighters to access wide-body aircraft such as the A380, and as low as 3.2 metres to access smaller aircraft. During emergencies, the EAS is not only used for AES officers to enter the aircraft for search and rescue missions, but can also be used for passenger disembarkation.

New to its capabilities, the EAS features a smart docking technology, which enables automated stairs deployment. In the past, an AES officer had to manually guide the docking process. Now, the officer only needs to select the specific aircraft type in the system, and the EAS can automatically dock to the preset height of the aircraft. Manpower can thus be channelled to more time-critical tasks in rescue and firefighting operations.


Attracting the best talent

At the heart of the AES is the team of firefighters and staff who work tirelessly to ensure they are ready for any emergency. As Changi Airport prepares for the opening of Jewel and new developments, AES is set to expand its team of over 500 firefighters, specialists and officers. Hence, the AES Open House was organised to introduce the public to the newly commissioned vehicles and the inner workings of the elite emergency service serving the world’s best airport.

Inaugural Firefighter’s Challenge at the AES Open House on 5 May, held at D’Marquee.


The inaugural firefighter’s challenge was the highlight of the event, getting adrenalin pumping as the crowd watched the different teams battle it out through a series of obstacles. From running with two sets of 15kg hose to saving a “casualty”, every contender showed that they are trained to tackle complex situations with agility and dexterity, even under extreme time pressure.

Held at D’Marquee on 5 May, the AES Open House drew a crowd of close to 500.


In addition, the public were free to go onboard the new foam tenders. They also had the opportunity to take a picture wearing the special AES’ protective firefighting suit, and experience the Virtual Reality technology that AES officers go through during their training.

As the leading expert in Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting in Singapore, AES has kept millions of passengers flying through Changi every year safe. This year, as AES celebrates its achievements over the past 70 years, it is also set to raise capabilities above and beyond, to operational excellence for the next 70 years and more.

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