Role of CD Volunteers
The CD civilian volunteer capability within the community was put to a real test in the Hotel New World disaster. 146 CD volunteers from Moulmein, Cairnhill and Jalan Besar constituencies were among the first CD rescuers on the scene. They worked hand in hand with CD rescuers of the Construction Battalion, CD regulars and reservists, firemen and soldiers to clear the debris from surrounding areas of the disaster site during the initial phase of the rescue operation, in an attempt to locate possible survivors.
Later, more CD volunteer Units from other 36 constituencies came to organize the support facilities to provide food and refreshments for the rescuers deployed at the disaster site. In addition to the above, 96 volunteers from another 19 constituencies, without waiting to be mobilized, also turned up on their own accord to render their assistance. Some CD volunteer instructors and volunteers stayed on, day-after-day, to provide medical assistance or render specialist service as supervisors of heavy equipment. Subsequently, three Civil Defence volunteers namely, Dr Edward Pang, Mr Henry Han Liang Kwang and Tengku Abdul Rahman were given national honours for their part in the Hotel New World rescue operations. All three of them received the Public Service Medal from former President Wee Kim Wee at Singapore Conference Hall that year.