Clicking and rustling could be heard in the drill yard of the fire station, as fire helmets were unbuckled and taken off. The firefighters held their helmets firmly tucked under their left arms and a few of them lightly touched the red and blue ribbons that were pinned on their fire jackets. For a moment, the air was silent and still, as the SCDF officers bowed their heads in unison and honoured the emergency responders who have fallen in the line of duty. They may no longer be with us, but their sacrifices will never be forgotten.
On 2 December 1998, 5 firefighters from Linton, Australia lost their lives while battling a wildfire. Witnessing the outpouring of grief and support after the incident, J J Edmondson, a volunteer fire Lieutenant from Victoria, Australia, was inspired to establish the International Firefighters’ Day (IFFD). After discussions with the international firefighting and emergency services community, 4 May was agreed upon as the date to commemorate IFFD. Together with the international firefighting and emergency medical services community, SCDF has been observing IFFD to pay homage to the emergency responders who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.
On the morning of 4 May 2023, SCDF personnel force-wide wore red and blue ribbons on their left chest, commemorating IFFD and honouring the sacrifices of firefighters and emergency medical personnel worldwide. Associated with emergency and rescue services internationally, the red and blue colours also symbolise fire and water respectively, elements that are closely related to firefighters’ work.
SCDF officers putting on the red and blue ribbon as a mark of respect to the sacrifices of emergency responders worldwide. PHOTO: SCDF
During the IFFD observance ceremony, Commanders of the frontline units delivered a message, reminding frontliners that SCDF’s lifesaving mission is a serious responsibility and should not be taken lightly. The message was also delivered in memory of SGT Shaik Amran Bin Shaik Jamal and SGT1 Edward H Go. SGT Shaik Amran had passed away in a road traffic accident when responding to an incident in January 2006. SGT1 Edward lost his life during a firefighting operation on 8 December 2022. As a mark of respect to those who have lost their lives in the line of duty, the SCDF officers removed their headgear and bowed to observe a minute of silence.
COL Mohamed Firoz Bin Ramjan, Commander 1st Division, delivering the message to the personnel at Central Fire Station.
SCDF officers from Central Fire Station observing a moment of silence on International Firefighters’ Day. PHOTO: SCDF
SCDF officers from the various fire stations removed their headgear and bowed to honour firefighters and emergency medical personnel who had lost their lives in the line of duty. PHOTO: SCDF
On the evening of 4 May 2023, an outdoor Memorial Garden was unveiled at the Civil Defence Heritage Gallery, paying tribute to SCDF officers who had lost their lives in the line of duty. The solemn occasion was witnessed by Mr K Shanmugam, Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law. In his brief address, Minister Shanmugam said that through the Memorial Garden, the memory of SCDF’s fallen officers will always be cherished.
Unveiling of the marble monument by Minister Shanmugam. PHOTO: SCDF
A lighted black marble monument with a flowing water feature serves as the centrepiece of the Memorial Garden. It depicts Strength, Courage, and Purity, which are the innate traits of emergency responders. The monument also symbolises the brave sacrifice and selfless nature of SCDF’s fallen heroes – SGT Shaik Amran Bin Shaik Jamal and SGT1 Edward H Go. Their names are inscribed on the marble monument, as a lasting tribute to their sacrifices.
A minute of silence is observed for SCDF’s fallen officers. PHOTO: SCDF
The Memorial Garden serves as a remembrance to SCDF officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty. PHOTO: SCDF
Poem by Ms A. B. Goh
Ms A. B. Goh was a teacher of the late SGT1 Edward H Go in school. Ms Goh has fond memories of Edward as an earnest, diligent and witty student who enjoyed an occasional banter. She has penned a poem in Edward’s memory and hopes that it will be a source of comfort for Edward’s family, bring solace to those who have lost loved ones in the line of duty, and inspire strength in our emergency responders as they carry out their lifesaving mission. Rescue995 has obtained Ms Goh’s consent to print this moving poem, “Ode to the Undaunted”.