The Red Bird also comes equipped with ‘engines’ which can be set alight, allowing firefighters to practise training scenarios that include engine fires.
Hot fire drills are conducted at the Red Bird year-round – besides trainees, active AES firefighters also have to undergo annual refresher sessions. So if you live near Upper Changi Road North and see flames or smoke coming from the direction of Changi Airport, do not be alarmed, as more likely than not, this is from AES personnel undergoing another round of hot fire drills.
Peter Ng, Commander, Civil Operations, AES, says, “This training is critical in enabling firefighters to acclimatise to working in a hot, smoke-filled environment. It also builds their confidence to handle such scenarios and will help them work more effectively in the event of an actual emergency.
The Red Bird is just one of the realistic simulators that Changi’s AES goes through as part of their training; others include a “cage room”, which replicates a cramped, dark and noisy plane interior from which firefighters have to retrieve “casualties”, and a foam tender driving simulator, where the driver has to navigate the vehicle around a virtual replica of the Changi airfield, avoiding any obstacles and hazards. (Read more about the suite of training that an AES firefighter has to undergo here.)