You would have seen or heard about SCDF’s latest Mandarin drama serial, ‘In Safe Hands’ (with English subtitles), which was aired daily on Mediacorp Channel 8 from 7 March to 18 March this year. During its premiere, the action-packed
drama wowed the audience with adrenaline pumping scenes featuring SCDF’s latest ops-technological gadgets, fleet of emergency appliances as well as our very own officers of different ethnicity acting alongside the Mediacorp artistes.
In case you missed it, the 10-episode drama is still available for free on meWATCH and you can catch it here.
And now, Rescue 995 welcome the main casts to take centre stage on this exclusive interview as they share their experiences on the production of the drama serial.
Lieutenant (LTA) Ong Jun Yi, starring Romeo Tan, as a Rota Commander. Source: Mediacorp Pte Ltd.
Rescue 995: What is the role you played in the drama serial?
Romeo: I played Lieutenant (LTA) Ong Jun Yi, a Rota Commander at Marina Bay Fire Station. Although Jun Yi is a firm and objective officer but he is approachable and friendly to those who need help. He is also well respected by his colleagues.
Rescue 995: Which scene is the most challenging for you?
Romeo: It is the fire scene in the pub where Lynn (played by Ye Jia Yun) and Xiao Li (played by Juin Teh) were trapped within. It required not only physical strength but also mental resilience to film in such a high intensity fire and
rescue operations. Although I was well-protected by the fire suit and breathing apparatus mask, I still found it challenging just to stay focused.
Rescue 995: Do you encounter any other challenges during the filming?
Romeo: There were a lot of equipment and commands which I had to be familiar with. As a Rota Commander, I had to act as the ‘third pair of eyes’, taking control of everything at the fire or rescue scene. And so, every decision
or command I made was crucial. At times, I also found it challenging to remember the names of the equipment used! [laughs]
Rescue 995: During the filming, you spent quite a lot of time at Marina Bay Fire Station. Was this your first time being in a fire station?
Romeo: Yes, it was my first, eye-opening experience in a fire station. The atmosphere was not as serious as I had thought. In fact, it was rather nice and fun to see so many different types of emergency vehicles up close.
Source: Mediacorp Pte Ltd.
Rescue 995: The drama involved you working with several actual SCDF officers. How was it like working with them?
Romeo: The SCDF officers did what they do best in giving us practical tips and good advice on firefighting techniques and life-saving skills while we portrayed the realistic aspect of being firefighters and rescuers on camera.
We were also all helping one another to feel as relax as possible during filming. So it was a lot of mutual help and team work onsite. But most important of all, we were having fun together and fostering camaraderie.
Rescue 995: What was your biggest takeaway in filming this drama serial?
Romeo: I would say leadership and appreciating the importance of life-saving skills.
Playing the role of a Rota Commander required a lot of strong leadership skills. It felt like I was put through an intensive leadership course and frankly, I do feel more self-confident now.
Every second counts when it comes to saving lives. Hence I am glad that through this drama serial, I had acquired crucial life saving skills first-hand from SCDF officers such as CPR and how to use an AED, and even downloaded the myResponder mobile
DENISE CAMILLIA TAN
Warrant Officer (WO) Fang Xuan Wen, starring Denise Camillia Tan, as a paramedic. Source: Mediacorp Pte Ltd.
Rescue 995: Tell us more about your role in the drama serial.
Denise: I am paramedic Fang Xuan Wen. Due to her traumatic past, Xuan Wen distances herself from her colleagues. For instance, whenever there is social gatherings, she would always excuse herself. She is also a very quiet and reserved
person. However, as a paramedic, she is highly professional and passionate, and takes her job seriously.
Rescue 995: What was your most memorable scene in the drama serial?
Denise: This is a tough question because I really enjoyed every scene in the drama serial. However, if I were to pick one, it would be the scene where we had to attend to a road traffic accident. In fact, right after the first accident,
there was another accident involving a pregnant lady who was about to give birth and I had to help her deliver her baby. Honestly, I am inexperienced in handling a baby and was thus very nervous.
As it turned out, there was fortunately no real baby involved in the filming. Nonetheless, it felt so real for me playing this scene, especially upon hearing many stories from SCDF officers who had delivered babies in real emergencies.
Paramedic WO1 Fang Xuan Wen attending to a pregnant lady in one of the scenes of the drama serial. Source: Mediacorp Pte Ltd.
Rescue 995: Which scene was the most challenging for you?
Denise: It was when Romeo and I were trapped in a collapsed building. This was my very first time seeing a setup of a collapsed structure. It was physically challenging for I had to lie flat on a very rocky surface for a prolonged
Rescue 995: What are your views on the SCDF officers involved in the drama serial.
Denise: It was amazing to have them acting alongside us and many of them were so natural in front of the cameras. Thumbs up to them!
It was also good to have some of them off camera and be by our side as mentors to guide us throughout the filming. They helped us whenever we were confused with the emergency procedures, such as in delivering a baby.
Sergeant (SGT3) Jayden Chee, starring Tyler Ten, as an EMT. Source: Mediacorp Pte Ltd.
Rescue 995: What is your role in the drama serial.
Tyler: I am Sergeant Jayden Chee, an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Firebiker who responds to fire and rescue incidents as well as medical emergencies.
Rescue 995: Tyler, how did you prepare yourself for your character?
Tyler: I went on a very strict diet. I was also involved in weightlifting for a few months so as to look fit on screen and to better portray Jayden who has a good physique. In addition, I went for acting and diction classes to better
prepare myself for the role.
Although I was a full-time SCDF National Serviceman and am currently an SCDF Operationally Ready National Serviceman (ORNSman), I still needed training as I was playing the role of a highly experienced SCDF career officer who was very well versed
in medical emergencies and firefighting operations.
Tensed moment between Jayden and Jun Yi. Source: Mediacorp Pte Ltd.
Rescue 995: Share with us a challenging scene in the drama serial.
Tyler: In terms of challenging, it has to be the scene involving the Breathing Apparatus Proficiency Test (BAPT). The scene required us to be in full gear, which included donning the thick firefighting jacket and having to breathe
through the Breathing Apparatus (BA) face mask while going through a series of exercises, such as climbing ladders and even carrying weights on a moving treadmill.
And that is not all! There was also a final team-based exercise, where we had to crawl through a few obstacles in a confined maze wearing the BA set. The maze was a long and narrow inter-connected tunnels where at some points, it was just
impossible to go through without the help of our fellow teammates – the person in front had to pull me, while someone behind had to push me along! This really demanded a lot of mental and physical strength. I was really proud of everyone,
including myself for completing this almost impossible scene.
As a former full-time SCDF National Serviceman (NSF) and currently an
SCDF ORNSman, were there any memorable moments in the drama serial that
brought back memories of your stint in SCDF?
Tyler: For sure!
I met one of my superiors who is now with the SCDF’s Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (DART) during a height rescue scene of the drama serial, one of the very few scenes where we needed assistance from these SCDF’s elite specialists.
When I first saw him, it felt as though I had gone back in time when we were working side by side and I was under his command.
I also saw two of my senior officers during the first big fire scene which we had to film overnight. It was nice to see familiar faces again and to know that both of them had been promoted.
Rescue 995: In
the drama, you had a few scenes where you worked with SCDF’s robots and
the latest technological gadgets. What is your take on these sophisticated
Tyler: I love the Red Rhino! This locally produced appliance is not only used for firefighting but stores medical equipment too. Another sophisticated gadget is the four-legged robot called Rover-X. It is packed with sensors and
cameras and can move autonomously, even tackling stairs, curbs and other terrains that will normally hinder the progress of traditional robots on tracks or wheels.
Then there are the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) which are essentially drones. The UAVs provide SCDF emergency responders with a bird’s-eye view of an incident site to precisely detect not only casualties but also inconspicuous hazards
that may not be so apparent to the human eyes. All these sophisticated devices are also useful in ensuring the safety of SCDF officers.
Jayden on a fire bike. Source: Mediacorp Pte Ltd.
Sergeant (SGT2) Teo Shu Min, starring Fang Rong, as a Fire and Rescue Specialist. Source: Mediacorp Pte Ltd.
You played the role of Sergeant Teo Shu Min, a Fire and Rescue
Specialist, in the drama serial. Do you have any favourite scene?
Fang Rong: I have many favourite scenes such as the fun-filled scenes with Tyler where we were able to easily bounce off each other’s energies and lines.
Other favourite scenes included the one where Shu Min went to the funeral to help Jayden and our heart-to-heart talk after attending the funeral. Although these were scenes that did not require much physical strength however the way our characters
developed throughout such scenes was really nice.
Shu Min and Jayden in one of their engaging scenes. Source: Mediacorp Pte Ltd.
Rescue 995: What was the toughest challenge you faced during filming?
Fang Rong: For me, it would be regulating my heavy breathing while wearing the BA set especially when carrying heavy equipment. And because I had to breathe through the BA face mask, it felt like I could not take in all the air that
I needed at that point in time. Fortunately, I was constantly reminded by the SCDF officers to take slow and controlled breathing and that helped to calm me down considerably.
Rescue 995: What are your views on SCDF female emergency responders?
Fang Rong: When training at Marina Bay Fire Station, I was incredibly impressed by my female mentors, Bernadette and Jennifer. They are strong and fit. In fact, female emergency responders have to carry everything that the male firefighters
do and thus I really respect them.
Besides strength, I believe that it is necessary to add that feminine touch of warmth and attention to SCDF’s life-saving mission. Because at the end of the day, as much as putting out the fires is important, it is also equally important
to show the victims due care, compassion and support. But this is not to say that male firefighters are unable to do so as many of the male SCDF officers I have interacted with are also very capable and truly passionate about caring for others.
Shu Min reaching out to a trapped victim in a high-rise rescue operation. Source: Mediacorp Pte Ltd.
Rescue 995: What is your biggest takeaway or lesson learnt in acting in this drama serial?
Fang Rong: Not to take things for granted.
I think when life is peaceful, we tend to overlook the many things that must exist for life to be as such; from the fresh air we breathe to the SCDF safety net that is always ready to catch me if I ever fall.
Filming ‘In Safe Hands’ had opened my eyes to be well prepared for emergencies, so that our world, our life could continue to function the way it does.