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In The Force

Honouring Our Past- SCDF NS50 Heritage Trail

TEXT: CPT (NS) SHAHRUDIN BIN SALLEH, MRT SHELTER COMPANY COMMANDER

As a member of the organising committee for the SCDF NS50 Heritage Trail, “Honouring our Past”, I was honoured to be part of a team that created a platform for NSmen to reminisce upon their NS experiences.

On Friday, 28 April, following the opening address of the Organising Committee Chairman, COL (NS) Syed Abdul Malik Aljunied, the participants in their various groups visited the former training venues that were most memorable and nostalgic to them.

Walking down memory lane

The first group, which included NS recruits belonging to the earliest batches, visited the former Basic Rescue Training Centre. CPT (NS) Raja Kamarul, who was then the Commanding Officer of the Construction Battalion, shared experiences of the early days when food was being prepared by NS cooks. SWO Rafi regaled everyone with stories of stern commanders, who appeared strict in camp but were great comrades outside of the training.

Visiting Jurong Fire Station

Former trainees of the Jurong Fire Training Centre visited the premises, which is currently the Jurong Fire Station. CPTYusof, SWO Rosli, WO Hassan, SSG Azman and SSG Azmi shared interesting anecdotes of what the older batches of firefighters went through. The third group of participants visited the Civil Defence Academy, the training ground for the younger NS batches. MAJ (NS) Murali Nair shared his experiences when he was attached to the Operationally Ready National Service Unit, PUB Water Company. WO2 (Ret) Zainal and SWO Salleh shared stories of the collapse of the Lian Yak Building (better known as Hotel New World) in 1986, and rescue efforts that saved 17 people.

I relished the opportunity to be part of the committee to organise this event. It also helped me strengthen my commitment to work hand in hand with the SCDF regulars with the same purpose as inspired members of The Lifesaving Force.

Categories
In The Force

Learn about the Evolution of NS at the SCDF NS Gallery

TEXT: LTA (NSF) TIZIAN IBACH, PLATOON COMMANDER, BASIC RESCUE TRAINING CENTRE

The opening of the SCDF NS Gallery on 28 April 2017 coincided with the end of my full-time National Service. I was rewarded with the rare opportunity to meet with many pioneers who had shaped SCDF in the course of its rich history, and to learn how important their time in SCDF NS was to making them who they are today.

As I prepared to be the NS Gallery Ambassador for the VVIP group at the official opening, I learnt much about the evolution of NS in SCDF from past to present. Such times included when NSFs were in the Construction Brigade, when ORNSmen responded to the Hotel New World collapse, and when NSFs served in the Special Rescue Battalion.

…I LEARNT MUCH ABOUT THE EVOLUTION OF NS IN SCDF FROM PAST TO PRESENT

Reflecting on this journey, I am humbled by the commitment and passion that my NS predecessors had poured into SCDF. I am better able to understand my roles as an NSF instructor and Platoon Commander of a recruit platoon, and previously as an Emergency Response Specialist at the re station, as connected to a much larger and tremendously noble tapestry of teamwork and dedication from SCDF NS personnel through the decades. I am inspired to continue this tapestry proudly and tirelessly as an ORNSman in the years to come. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to showcase the SCDF NS Gallery to Second Minister for Home Affairs Mr Desmond Lee and the rest of the VVIP entourage. I have gained valuable experience as a presenter and have no doubt that one day, I will be using these blessings to give back to the SCDF and to the nation.

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Categories
In The Force

SOC PO Troops to be Implemented by 2023

The inaugural batch of Special Operations Command Public Order (PO) Troops will be formed by September 2018, and the unit will be fully implemented by 2023.

Made up of PNSFs and PNSmen, it is trained to handle incidents such as riots safely and effectively. PO Troops are equipped with a full set of protective gear, which is used to handle any rioter who comes their way. This includes a helmet, arm and shin protectors, fire retardant attire, gloves, boots and a tactical shield.

PO Troops endure tough training everyday, having to wear protective gear and train tirelessly for many hours under the hot sun. The training also encompasses fire confidence whereby petroleum bags, which simulate Molotov cocktails, are thrown at them.

The rigorous challenges of this unit call upon only the fittest National Servicemen to meet its physical demands.

Upon completion of their full-time National Service, the officers will be recalled to perform anti-crime patrols and public order deployments.

When asked if they are prepared to be called on in the event of terrorist attacks, the officers said that they are confident in their training and abilities to handle such crises. The officers know that their lives are at stake when dealing with such crises. However, they understand it is a job that needs to be done in ensuring the safety and security of Singapore.

Categories
In The Force

Saving Lives as a Volunteer with the SCDF

TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF.

I served my National Service with the SCDF as a firefighter from 2004 to 2006. I joined the Civil Defence Auxiliary Unit (CDAU) since 2015.

 

HOW WAS YOUR NS EXPERIENCE?

NS taught me many things. The calls I attended to while on duty opened my eyes to the world around me. I encountered all sorts of cases, ranging from road traffic accidents and suicides to fighting forest fires.

I was also involved in educating the public on fire safety during the Community Emergency Preparedness Programmes. Serving my NS in the SCDF has been a life-changing experience, and I grew stronger both mentally and physically as a result.

 

WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO JOIN THE CDAU?

My NS experience ignited my passion to help others, and I wanted to continue to do so within my abilities even after I completed my NS. Hence, I decided to volunteer with the life-saving force. As a CDAU officer, I am constantly kept on my feet, and my duties push me to go beyond my boundaries.

 

WE HEAR YOUR PASSION CONTINUES EVEN AT YOUR WORKPLACE! TELL US MORE.

I work at a company that designs emergency response vehicles for the SCDF. My volunteer work as a CDAU officer and my NS in-camp training give me good insights and help me do my job better. If there is an opportunity, I would love to be able to design a new emergency response vehicle for the SCDF!

 


 

VOLUNTER WITH THE CDAU:

What kind of commitment is required?
You have to volunteer a minimum of two hours per shift and a total of at least 16 hours per month.

How can I join?
Sign up at www.hometeamvolunteers.gov.sg. Once you pass the selection process, you will go through a 16-week firefighting course, after which you will be posted to a fire station and be part of the life-saving force.

What if I was a firefighter during NS?
If it is within two years after you have completed NS, you will need to attend a two-week refresher course. If you have the potential, you may progress to be a Section Commander or ROTA Commander.

 

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