A Fiery Legacy

July 15th, 2007   •   4 comments   

Check out this funky red spiral stairway at the Civil Defence Heritage Gallery

Do you know that the Central Fire Station was once Singapore’s highest lookout point? Back in the old days, fire fighters would climb up the tower to look out for fires in the city using their naked eyes. That was one of the interesting facts I discovered recently at the Civil Defence Heritage Gallery, which is opened by the Singapore Civil Defence Force.

A member of the Museum Roundtable, this boutique attraction shares the story of Singapore’s excellent fire services (they are a Singapore Quality Award winner) as well as some of the major crises which they handled. Located along Hill Street, admission is free to the public.
This pair of statues show how firefighters were like in the past.

The red and white doors which open up for fire engines and ambulances to cross are an iconic sight at the Central Fire Station. I remembered how fascinated I was as a kid (still am) whenever the fire engines rolled out in full force to do their heroic deeds.

Fire hose attachments and helmets through the ages. Essential tools in the war against fumes.

Toys and collectibles for young wannabe fire fighters (or the young at heart). As highlighted before, merchandising is important in gaining revenue in any attraction.

A first generation fire engine which is pulled along by horses. I wonder how stable it is when the stallions are galloping along at full fury?

In the past, policemen used to wear shorts. However, fire fighters wore long pants, boots and a strong protective helmet – just like now. Of course, the materials are a lot more comfortable and advanced nowadays to protect our men in blue from the blazing heat.

Another blast from the past with a vintage fire engine. I like the gold trimmings and wooden walnut finishing. Must be worth a fortune!

Our little fire fighter rushing to save the world, furiously turning the wheels and wondering where the water will be coming out from.

Life-sized dioramas like this help to convey the tension and trauma faced by our brave fire fighters. No prizes for guessing which hotel disaster incident this portrays.

Even the gloves worn come in different shapes, sizes and textures for different purposes. So Michael Jackson isn’t the only one with a glove fetish?

Does this come from a Science Fiction movie? Nope. Its a special heat and chemical resistant hazmat costume worn by our fearless fire fighters to deal with hazardous situations.

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  1. posted on Jul 15, 2007 at 4:58 PM

    I remembered that they held demonstrations for public as well. I recall seeing a mockup of firefighters tearing apart a car with pneumatic drills to “rescue” a trapped driver. Kids loved the sirens too.

  2. posted on Jul 17, 2007 at 12:04 AM


    Yes, I certainly remembered all the civil defence exercises too. They help to create greater awareness of what to do in case of emergency. I wish though that more people – including my own parents – would take them seriously. Looking at how things are happening in the world, we should always be prepared.

  3. posted on Jul 17, 2007 at 1:14 AM

    wooo..I have always wanted to visit that place but never got the chance to. Everytime I go to Funan I just pass that place by..should go check it out man..keke..

  4. posted on Jul 17, 2007 at 7:53 AM

    So embarrassing that I only knew there was a Civil Defence Heritage Gallery in the Central Fire Station when Wee Kiat mentioned it in our book. Will probably visit it soon, especially since admission is free. Not many free places around anymore.

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