MAJOR (MAJ) Abdul Razak Senin and Senior Warrant Officer (SWO1) Irianto Bin Marino can never forget their first overseas operation as rescuers from the newly formed Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (DART) twenty-seven years ago. It was also the year when they had just graduated from the 1st DART Conversion Course. Five months after the conversion course, on 11 December 1993, a huge mudslide brought on by the heavy December rains triggered the collapse of a 12-storey building on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Within hours, DART rescuers were activated to assist in the rescue mission at Highland Towers in Kuala Lumpur.
Meet COLONEL (COL) Chew Keng Tok who has spent over 16 years as a member of the elite Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (DART) in the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF). COL Chew had graduated from the 10th DART Specialist Course in 2003. He joined the elite unit as a Platoon Commander from 2003 to 2006, and later led the unit as the DART Commander for close to five years since 2015. On 26 October 2020, COL Chew was one of the eight DART members who received a medallion each for their immense contributions to the unit over the years. Today, he is the Commander of 2nd SCDF Division.
In a previous e-article of Rescue 995, SWO (RET) Mohd Salleh Bin Ali, affectionately and commonly known as Encik Agayle, walked us down the memory lane of his life as a firefighter and trainer in the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) for the past 45 years. In this second and final part article, Encik Agayle recalled some of the major incidents which he had responded to during the early days of his career.
The Queenstown HeartSavers Connect, together with SCDF firefighters and police officers, evacuated about 60 residents from the 7th to the 16th floor when a fire broke out in a kitchen of a HDB unit at Lengkok Bahru on the evening of 16 April 2020. No one was injured.
CPT Amelia Lim, a graduate from the AHA Centre Executive (ACE) Programme in November 2019, was one of the three outstanding participants who were awarded the ACE Stellar Award. For this programme’s intake, CPT Amelia is the only Singaporean among 18 representatives from the 10 Asean countries. She is also the first female SCDF officer to be a member of the Asean Emergency Response and Assessment Team and a certified leader in disaster management.
It was close to bedtime when a fire blazed through Tuas Avenue, engulfing an entire warehouse, about 5-storey in height, trailing through the drains - a scene straight out of a movie scene.
On a Wednesday afternoon, 19 February 2020, SCDF received a call for a medical emergency incident at Yishun Polyclinic. Forgoing their lunch, the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel from Yishun Fire Station swung into action. Within minutes, the crew arrived at the scene donned in their Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and attended to the patient.
Bright eyed, excited and freshly minted LTA (NSF) Aveek Goswami reported for duty on his first day keen to learn and do a good job in leading a platoon of men as a Rota Commander in SCDF’s Special Rescue Unit (SRU). He has heard much about SRU and how it was recognised as the crack troops of SCDF. The SRU specialises in decontamination, large fire and rescue operations and mass casualty ambulance conveyance. It is always ready 24/7.
At 5.57am on 11 December 2019, SCDF received a call on a fire at No. 48 Tuas Crescent. Mere streets away from the incident, the personnel from Rota 2 of Tuas Fire Station swung into action. A thick column of black smoke rising into the still dark sky marked their destination. Within four minutes of the fire being reported, SCDF was at the scene.
On 21 November 2019, the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) organised the inaugural First Responders Safety & Performance Symposium (FRSPS) at the Singapore Expo Convention and Exhibition Centre. Temasek Foundation was SCDF’s strategic partner for this symposium. Concurrently, SCDF co-curated the academic programme for this symposium with its knowledge partner, the Department of Physiology, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore (NUS).