Compulsory Fire Service

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A Compulsory Fire Service is a public organization that is part of the fire department in Switzerland and in exceptional cases in Germany as well. Private individuals can be compelled to participate in such a fire service in specific circumstances. In Singapore conscripts are deployed as fire fighters when serving in the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF).

In Switzerland this mandatory fire service is common and required in most regions. The German Compulsory Fire Service only exists when a Volunteer Fire Department cannot be pursued due to a lack of personnel or other unavailability, meaning that fire protection cannot be guaranteed 24/7. All appropriate persons can be drafted to the compulsory fire service if they are needed.


Following municipal fire brigades drafted conscript fire fighters in Germany:


In Singapore the National Service is a statutory requirement[3] for all male Singaporean citizens and second-generation permanent residents to undergo a period of compulsory service in the uniformed services. Depending on physical and medical fitness, they serve a two-year period as National Servicemen Full-time (NSFs), either in the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF), the Singapore Police Force (SPF) or the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), which provides the fire-fighting services in Singapore.[4]


Form of Organization of the Militia Fire Brigades

In Switzerland, it is common for compulsory fire service duty to be required of both men and women, whether or not they are Swiss. Most fire services in Switzerland are so called Militia Fire Brigades (Miliz-Feuerwehr). Militia firefighters normally pursue other professions, and have active duty only during exercises and missions. In the case of an emergency, the first response is completed by a group of specially-trained police officers. The militia fire brigade arrives as soon as possible. In special situations (major events, demonstrations, etc.) the fire brigade provides a standby service. Currently 95.000 men and women serve as firefighters in 1.500 fire brigades (Feuerwehrkorps), Only 1.200 of them are professional firefighters, organized as plant fire brigades or a unit of a larger city.[5]


Exceptions include for example, the canton of Zurich, and in all places where professional fire brigades exist. If a fire brigade cannot find enough volunteers, it can carry out forced recruitment. These drafts are not popular, because the recruited firefighters are generally less motivated. Anyone who rejects service must pay a fire service exemption tax.

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^,pflichtfeuerwehr104.html
  3. ^ "Enlistment Act (Chapter 93)". Singapore Statutes Online.
  4. ^ SCDF Website - GENERAL: About Us[dead link]
  5. ^

External links

  • "Duty firefighters List / Sylt"
  • "Duty firefighters Burg / Dithmarschen"
  • Law on fire protection and assistance (NRW) of 11 December 2007
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