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Singapore Civil Defense rolls out RFID island-wide

RFID continues to get a big push from government-mandated initiatives in the APAC region. Of course, the well-documented mandate for tagging pharmaceuticals in Korea begins to kick in next year, with a ramp-up to tagging 50 percent of all pharmaceuticals by 2015.

This week Singapore announced a deal with Hitachi Asia Ltd to deploy a passive RFID equipment tracking solution for the  Singapore Civil Defense Force (SCDF).

Ladder trucks like this one in Singapore will be outfitted with RFID by April.

It marks the first time that SCDF will utilize an RFID-based solution to track equipment like fire extinguishers and portable pumps onboard SCDF’s pump ladders, light fire attack vehicles and ambulances at all 16 fire stations island wide. The system will be live at all 16 stations by April.

Hitachi’s solution will consume about 13,000 RFID tags and 55 RFID handheld readers with a customized client-server application for managing tagged equipment records, synchronizing data between the handheld RFID readers & PCs/server and managing user access control.

The RFID solution will replace SCDF’s existing practice of conducting manual checks during shift changes and recovery of equipment at incident sites, which is not only time consuming but prone to human error.

The RFID readers has a reading range of 1 meter and the equipment onboard SCDF’s rescue vehicles can be scanned by a swiping movement of the RFID reader even when the tag is not facing the reader or visible. The automated process will improve the accuracy and speed of equipment checking stored onboard approximately 170 of SCDF’s main operational vehicles. The Hitachi’s RFID solution will enable SCDF to  check the availability of approximately 200 pieces of equipment onboard SCDF’s pump ladder in less than 10 minutes. Manual checking of the same task would require the involvement of several crew members and can take up to 30 minutes.

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