Grooming Generations of Life Savers

September 9, 2021

Trainers in SCDF play a key role in imparting valuable knowledge and skills to the trainees, grooming them to be life savers. Captain (CPT) Jadyn Toh Pei Xuan and Senior First Warrant Officer (SWO1) Irianto Bin Marino are two such trainers. They are actively involved in training officer cadets undergoing the Rota Commander Course (RCC) at the Leadership Development Centre of the Civil Defence Academy (CDA).


To the multiple batches of RCC cadets who have passed through the doors of CDA, CPT Jadyn and SWO1 Irianto are two familiar faces whom they had interacted with daily throughout their course. With two and seven years of experience respectively, this duo provided Rescue 995 with insights on their enriching journey as trainers of The Life Saving Force.


SWO1 Irianto Bin Marino (left) and CPT Jadyn Toh Pei Xuan (right)SWO1 Irianto Bin Marino (left) and CPT Jadyn Toh Pei Xuan (right)


Rescue 995: How long have you known each other?


CPT Jadyn: When I started my RCC in 2016, that was the year when I first met Encik Irianto. Time flies and it has been five years since then!


SWO1 Irianto: Before CPT Jadyn commenced the RCC training, she was on attachment with us at CDA. We met again subsequently during her training and I was one of her instructors.


Rescue 995: What do you do as a trainer at the academy?


SWO1 Irianto: As an instructor, I train multiple batches of cadets undergoing the RCC at CDA. I regularly shared with them on my years of experience at the frontline, especially on major fire and rescue operations.


CPT Jadyn: Together with Encik Irianto, we work seamlessly in looking after the welfare of the cadets as well as guiding them throughout the course. As we are training the officer cadets or Rota Commanders, there is a lot more emphasis on leadership skills. Encik Irianto was a Deputy Rota Commander at the fire station before being a trainer at CDA and therefore, his wealth of experiences is a very valuable asset for the trainees to tap upon.


CPT Jadyn giving guidance to the trainees before an exerciseCPT Jadyn giving guidance to the trainees before an exercise


Rescue 995: In your opinion, what are the qualities of a good trainer?


SWO1 Irianto: A trainer must not only have the knowledge but also the experiences to guide the trainees well. Mutual respect is also important. In this time and age with the internet, sometimes your trainees may surprise you with latest developments and knowledge as well as thought provoking questions. Hence, as trainers, we must be receptive to their views, knowledge sharing or even challenges posed. In short, when we teach, we may also be learning.


CPT Jadyn: The way we carry ourselves as trainers is of paramount importance especially in grooming our trainees. In whatever we do, we are setting the standard for them to follow. I agree with Encik Irianto that showing mutual trainer-trainees respect is one of the crucial attributes of a trainer. Another quality of a good trainer, especially in conducting a leadership course, is to be open-minded as we come from various walks of life with different life experiences. While we are equipped with the knowledge and rich experiences in firefighting and rescue, our trainees bring with them different perspectives which we can learn from as well. Gone are the days when the teacher speaks and the students only listen. Nowadays, everyone could and should air their views and contribute their thoughts and ideas.

SWO1 Irianto guiding a trainee in operating the pump of a pump ladderSWO1 Irianto guiding a trainee in operating the pump of a pump ladder


Rescue 995: How have your training methods evolved over the years?


SWO1 Irianto: One difference is how we enforce discipline on the trainees. In the past, we used to raise our voices and gave extra physical exercises as a form of punishment. Nowadays, the intensity of physical exercises as punishment has reduced. And while we still impose punishment, we would usually explain to the trainees on the reasons as to why they had to be disciplined.


CPT Jadyn: Trainees today are more inquisitive and they tend to ask you the “why” questions during training. It is not because they demand an explanation but rather, they are curious about the rationale of why certain things need to be done in a certain manner.  The way we approach training has definitely changed from the past.


Rescue 995: What do you enjoy most as a trainer?


CPT Jadyn: What I truly enjoy in being a trainer is the process of being able to experiment with various styles of teaching and facilitation during the course.


SWO1 Irianto: I enjoy teaching the Basic Task Manual to my cadets. Sometimes, I would gamify the learning experience by creating a mini competition amongst the trainees. Doing this makes the training more vivacious and interactive.


Rescue 995: What is your most memorable experience as a trainer.


SWO1 Irianto: I remember how CPT Jadyn as a cadet then was in tears after graduating from her RCC. Being physically present at each batch of Commissioning Parade makes me feel so proud and happy for the graduating cadets, the future leaders of SCDF. This gives me a sense of purpose and satisfaction as a trainer.


CPT Jadyn: It is always very memorable to witness our cadets graduating from the seven-month RCC, reciting the Officer’s Creed, and tossing their peak caps at the end of the ceremony. The most emotional moment is when my cadets come up to me after the ceremony to personally thank me for guiding and grooming them to be commissioned officers. This, to me, is priceless!


Rescue 995: As we had just celebrated Teacher’s Day earlier this month, what would be your words of appreciation or encouragement to all teachers and trainers out there?


SWO1 Irianto: Being a teacher or trainer is not an easy task. It involves dedication and a lot of sacrifices of your time. To all fellow teachers and trainers, your hard work and sacrifices are truly respectable!


CPT Jadyn: A big thank you to all the teachers and trainers who have shared their experiences and knowledge with me and nurtured me to be who I am today. And not forgetting Encik Irianto for being such a ‘fatherly figure’ to me and all the cadets here at CDA.