Last month, SCDF Warrant Officer, WO2 Nasiruddin Ghaffor fought a huge fire that engulfed a HDB unit in his neighbourhood at Yishun with just a fire-resistant hood and a hose reel.
Rescue 995 engaged WO2 Nasiruddin for an exclusive one-on-one interview.
Rescue 995: WO2 Nasiruddin, great job for stepping forward to help in putting out the fire even when you were off-duty at that time. Please tell us more about yourself and what do you do in the Force?
WO2 Nasiruddin: Most of my colleagues know me by my nickname – ‘Nasir G’ or simply ‘G’. I have been with SCDF for about 10 years and my most memorable experience was when I joined the Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) scheme as an EMT-Biker back in 2016. Although it was a short stint for about 3 years, it was a life-changing experience for me.
I am now an instructor at the Civil Defence Academy (CDA). At the moment, I am overseeing the 44th Section Commander Course as its Course Deputy Rota Commander. During this COVID-19 period, I supported my officers and colleagues in the CDA dormitory operations.
We had to prepare and manage the dormitories for a few hundred foreign workers. It is a collaborative effort and everyone has a crucial role in the operation.
Rescue 995: Tell us about your short stint as an EMT Biker, and what made you feel that it was life changing for you?
WO2 Nasiruddin: I remembered responding to a particular incident. Upon arriving at the incident site, I saw a month old baby lying motionless on the floor. The father was in distress and tried explaining the situation to me. I immediately cuddled the baby and started chest compressions on him while the paramedics were setting up their equipment. I must admit that I was deeply worried for the baby but kept my composure and continued to focus on what I had to do. Unfortunately, I received news later that the baby did not survive at the hospital. It broke my heart for I have a son who was about the same age as the baby. I cannot imagine the feeling that the parents must have experienced upon hearing the news. From then on, I began to treasure every moment I spent with my little one.
Rescue 995: Now coming back to the fire incident at Yishun, you had this "emergency bag" prepared at home. Why?
WO2 Nasiruddin: I feel that it is necessary to have an "emergency bag" at home to enable me to control an emergency situation as best as I could before SCDF’s arrival. I have always believed in this saying, “Better to have it when you don’t
need it, rather than needing it most when you don’t have it”.
Rescue 995: It was also the month of Ramadhan and you were just about to have your pre-dawn meal when the fire occurred. Did you manage to take leave on that day because you must have been so famished?
WO2 Nasiruddin: Although there was an option for me to take leave I did not because my trainees were having their final exercise. It was a very important assessment for my trainees and I want to be with them, to encourage and show them my support.
Rescue 995: What are the values that are most important to you as an officer of SCDF?
As an SCDF officer, I believe that I should always be competent and ready to extend a helping hand with confidence whenever the need arises. All SCDF officers take our training very seriously because others’ lives and property
depend on us.