On the evening of 14 April 2023, eager whispers could be heard from the Istana lawn, where over 400 guests had gathered. SCDF officers, volunteers and strategic partners were there for the SCDF Garden Reception, which commemorates SCDF Day, marking the merger of the Singapore Fire Service and SCDF on 15 April 1989. At the same time, SCDF officers who went beyond the call of duty to keep Singapore safe were also given recognition for their dedication and commitment to duty. The event was graced by President Halimah Yacob.
In the first segment of the event, Mr K Shanmugam, Minister for Home Affairs & for Law, delivered his speech, expressing his heartfelt gratitude for the commitment and service of SCDF officers. He also thanked SCDF’s strategic partners and volunteers for playing a vital role in supporting SCDF's lifesaving mission.
102 outstanding SCDF officers were recognised for going beyond the call of duty and placing the needs of others above their own. Minister Shanmugam presented the Pride and Care (P&C) Star Awards, as well as the Full-time National Serviceman (NSF) and Operationally Ready National Serviceman (NSman) of the Year Awards. Through their commitment, compassion, and unwavering resolve, these individuals have exemplified SCDF’s core values of Pride and Care.
Over 400 guests, including SCDF officers, strategic partners, volunteers, and officers from the Home Team Departments were present at the SCDF Garden Reception. PHOTO: SCDF
The Pride and Care Star Award, NSF of the Year Award and NSman of the Year Award were presented by Minister Shanmugam during the Garden Reception. PHOTO: SCDF
Minister Shanmugam delivering his speech. PHOTO: SCDF
Members of the recent Ops Lionheart contingent that responded to the Türkiye-Syria earthquake. From left to right: SGT3 Tamimi Bin Mohamad Mamsi, LTA Abdul Rashid Bin Abdul Karim, LTC Lok Wee Keong, LTA Sabri Bin Dusuki, LTA Muhammad Tashirin Bin Mohd Tahir. PHOTO: SCDF
The sole recipient of the Pride and Care (Platinum) Award this year was CPT Jadyn Toh, a Course Commander at the Civil Defence Academy. Since 2019, CPT Jadyn had rendered assistance to members of the public when she was off-duty, on four separate occasions over four consecutive years.
“On 24 September 2022, I was off-duty and enjoying some downtime at home. Suddenly, I received a notification on my myResponder App of a rubbish chute fire nearby. I knew I had to act immediately,” said CPT Jadyn, as she recalled the incident.
CPT Jadyn Toh receiving the P&C Star Award (Platinum) from Mr K Shanmugam, Minister for Home Affairs & for Law. PHOTO: SCDF
“When I arrived at the scene, I could see white smoke billowing out of the chute. To my surprise, I bumped into one of my former trainees and a fellow SCDF colleague, as he had also received the myResponder notification. Together, we approached the residents of that block for buckets of water. The residents were very helpful in providing what we needed, allowing us to put out the fire quickly. I am grateful for the support of my colleague and the residents who came together to handle the situation. Moments like these truly showcase the spirit of teamwork and our commitment to protect our community,” CPT Jadyn remarked.
CPT Jadyn credited her training in SCDF for enhancing her decision-making abilities during emergencies. However, she emphasised that everyone can still play a part in helping to put out minor fires, as such cases are manageable with some prior training.
“I always believed that public trust is vital in nation building. I would like to play my part in building public trust,” said CPT Jadyn.
As the Director (Operations) of Thye Hua Kwan Nursing Home, LTC (NS) Marcus Lee understands the importance of rigorous training and constantly seeks ways to improve training effectiveness for his team, ensuring that they are equipped to handle any challenge that comes their way. LTC (NS) Marcus received the NSman of the Year Award for playing a pivotal role in enhancing the operational efficiency and readiness of the HQ Civil Resources Unit (CRU). Since 2021, LTC (NS) Marcus has been largely involved in the formation and development of CRU as a unit.
LTC (NS) Marcus Lee receiving the NSman of the Year Award from Mr K Shanmugam. PHOTO: SCDF
“When I think about the success of our unit, building rapport and fostering strong bonds among my team is essential. As a leader, I must be committed to give my best in every aspect, whether it is enhancing the operational readiness of the unit or boosting the morale of the officers under my charge,” said LTC (NS) Marcus. “I have always felt that the strength of our unit lies in the camaraderie and trust we share, so I strive to cultivate a sense of unity and purpose within the team. From my experience, when we work together with a shared sense of commitment and trust, we can overcome any challenge that comes our way.”
SGT2 Andrew Chua, who had served his National Service as a Section Commander at Tampines Fire Station, made a significant impact on his crew and fellow NSFs, through his dedication and leadership. Not only did he lead his team in attending to fire, rescue, and medical incidents, but he had also volunteered to be an NSF Peer Supporter.
“When I volunteered for the role of an NSF Peer Supporter, I wanted to be there for my fellow NSFs and help them adapt to the fire station’s routine, and navigate any challenges that they may face during their National Service journey. I wanted to provide emotional support and be a reliable confidant for them, ensuring that they never feel alone during their time in NS,” said SGT2 Andrew.
SGT2 Andrew Chua receiving the NSF of the Year Award from Mr K Shanmugam. PHOTO: SCDF
During the second segment of the SCDF Garden Reception, President Halimah Yacob graced the occasion and interacted with SCDF officers, NSFs, NSmen, volunteers and strategic partners. The attendees had candid conversations with the President, sharing their respective roles, contributions and experiences, as well as what motivates them to continue giving their best to SCDF’s lifesaving mission. The President also met and thanked the officers from the Operation Lionheart contingent, who were deployed to the Türkiye-Syria earthquake in February 2023.
President Halimah Yacob interacting with officers who were deployed to the Türkiye-Syria earthquake as part of the Operation Lionheart contingent. PHOTO: SCDF
Looking back, SCDF has indeed come a long way since its founding years. The significant milestones and progress achieved in the past few decades did not come by chance, but rather through the grit, tenacity, dedication and commitment of SCDF officers. It was truly an honour to commemorate SCDF Day and celebrate these milestones at the Istana. Apart from giving recognition to SCDF officers for their exemplary contributions, the event also reaffirmed the officers’ dedication to SCDF’s Life Saving mission and building a Nation of Lifesavers.
President Halimah Yacob interacting with invited guests during the event. PHOTO: SCDF
Mr Markham Shaw (front row, centre), Chairman of National Fire and Emergency Preparedness Council (NFEC) with the Board of Directors and members of NFEC at the Garden Reception at The Istana. PHOTO: SCDF