Meet WO2 Nasiruddin Ghafor, a Senior Course Specialist who has been with The Life Saving Force for more than 12 years. In 2020, WO2 Nasiruddin was posted to the Civil Defence Academy (CDA) as a trainer. With sheer hard work and determination, he was awarded
the Home Team (HT) Trainer of the Year in November 2021, just barely two years as a trainer.
WO2 Nasiruddin at the Home Team Academy
WO2 Nasiruddin is actively involved in training Full-time National Servicemen (NSFs) undergoing the Section Commander Course (SCC) at CDA. If you do not already know, WO2 Nasiruddin was previously featured in Rescue 995, back in June 2020, for his swift and courageous act in fighting a fire that engulfed a Yishun HDB unit while
on his way to work.
Rescue 995 met WO2 Nasiruddin to get his insights on his winning strategy as a trainer at CDA. WO2 Nasiruddin greeted us at the academy before leading us into his office where he showed all his training materials which he had made for his trainees.
“I started my training career teaching trainees using the traditional method which my instructors have taught me in the past,” recalled WO2 Nasiruddin. “I soon realised that every trainee has a different learning pace and style,
therefore to effectively fulfil their learning objectives, I had to conduct my lessons in a way that is not only fun but also engaging and interactive.”
Equipped with facilitation skillsets acquired through a Specialist Certificate in Adult Learning Education (UP-SCALE) programme, WO2 Nasiruddin is well-versed in the Gagne’s principles of adult learning, one of the techniques taught at UP-SCALE,
which he frequently applies in his training facilitation.
“The Gagne’s principles adopt the perspective that every trainee comes to class with prior skills and knowledge to contribute to the learning process. One effective way to help trainees learn better is to facilitate classroom discussions
so trainees can provide guidance and also assess one another in the process. In this way, there is retention of knowledge even after the course is over,” WO2 Nasiruddin explained.
We were amazed by WO2 Nasiruddin’s innovative spread of training materials when he displayed them on the table in the pantry. What we found impressive was that he made most of the materials by himself!
WO2 Nasiruddin uses visual aids such as a close replica of the Combined Platform Ladder, which he bought, to teach his trainees how to position the appliance during an emergency operation.
WO2 Nasiruddin showing how trainees would be tested on the parts of a fire hydrant by assembling them together in the right place on this Hydrant Test Kit.
WO2 Nasiruddin produces training videos using animations, Lego graphics and voiceovers to connect with his trainees. His teaching methodology on the use of video chunking provides his trainees with an overview of the lesson before attending
his class. He said this helps to retain the learner’s attention and to address potential learning gaps.
A sample display of the Lego animations that WO2 Nasiruddin used to connect with his trainees in class.
“Gone are the days when trainers simply gave lectures to trainees. That is a one-way communication whereby trainees are expected to grasp the topic or memorise the information by heart,” said WO2 Nasiruddin. “Nowadays, the best learning
environment is a ‘loud’ classroom that encourages creative discussions, debates and sharing of ideas among peers because information has become so vastly available on the Internet and trainees will already have prior knowledge of what
they have gathered from various other sources. By facilitating discussions, the class can learn faster from one another.”
A sample spread of different scenarios for trainees to prepare in the event of a fire call.
WO2 Nasiruddin added, “As we are training leaders, we want them to
be creative and adaptable, especially when leading a team at the frontline.
While it may be appropriate to adhere to doctrines and regimes, there is no
one-size-fits-all solution to a problem and many situations can be
unpredictable when responding to emergencies. As such, trainees are strongly
encouraged to participate actively and think on their feet in my class.”
For the past two years, WO2 Nasiruddin has grown to enjoy teaching,
bonding and learning together with his trainees. He remarked that a trainer’s
role goes beyond the mundane task of teaching but also forming connection with
the trainees so they can receive optimal learning experiences both in and
outside the classroom.
“Active listening is an important skill to have as a trainer. You
need to constantly listen to your trainees to understand their learning needs
so you can find the right approach,” said WO2 Nasiruddin.
WO2 Nasiruddin with his trainees at CDA.