We protected each – DART Specialists and Police Officers

It was chaotic when we first arrived. We saw civilians, police officers and rescuers trapped amongst the angry
rioters. The projectiles thrown at our direction injured us. Yet, we were determined to protect those in need to bring
them to safety in every ways we could. At one point, police officers were situated beside our Special Rescue Tender (SRT). While they protected the rest in the open, we offered our DART helmet, hoping that it would minimise injuries and for them fight on. Graciously, they stopped and offered the four of us a riot shield to protect ourselves.

In his uniform, he put on our DART helmet and continued his mission to prevent, deter and detect crime. In our uniform, we held on to the riot shield and discharged our duties courteously even when faced with the angry mob. As the SRT pierced through the lanes of Race Course Road, we were greeted by a large group of furious rioters.Trashcans, kitchenware, bricks and concrete slabs were being thrown at us leaving the windscreens and windows smashed. We suffered secondary injuries from the shatter. While we were in shock, we reminded each other to stay strong and unbeatable.

Above all, nothing stopped us from our call of duty. Bricks after bricks flew into our SRT through the side windows that were already smashed and our hands were already bleeding from the shattered glass bits. The rioters became angrier as we stayed put.
They moved physically closer and started to verbally threaten us. Even then, we were unsure of the rationale for their fury.All we knew was that we had to protect one another regardless of the extremity of the chaos. The situation worsened as they began to overturn the vehicles parked in front of the SRT.

The rioters started to walk towards us with firebombs in their hands. We had no idea what they were made of but we knew that it could
potentially set our SRT ablaze. We knew we had to leave the scene. As the other vehicles before us were overturned, the driver attempted to maneuver the steering heel but his hands were bleeding from the cuts caused by the shattered glass bits.

With no time to lose, the crew seated behind climbed to control the steering of the SRT. In that moment of anxiety, we hurried
through the maze of rioters and other vehicles that were destroyed.Our hearts were racing.Even as we drove back to base, we were worried for the rest of the crew still trapped at the incident site.We held on to our matra set and were ready to be re-deployed back to the incident side.

Special Report : Little India Riot (2)

I WALKED THE STREETS OF SHATTERED I GLASS.

I had no idea what was going on. All I knew was that I had to provide medical assistance to anyone who was in need. The streets looked different. There were casualties everywhere. I alighted from the ambulance as soon as I could.

From the moment my feet touched the ground, I never stopped walking to look for casualties and render help. I could not and I knew, I would not stop. With every step I took, someone came up to me for medical assistance. The streets were filled with shattered glasses, broken bricks and debris of what was used as weapons. I had no idea what was going on. All I knew was that I am on a street filled
with casualties. An Indian National in his early twenties approached me for help. An object hit him when he was trying
to escape the scene. His head was bleeding and he was traumatised. I attended to him. A firefighter and policeman were limping towards
me. They told me they needed treatment for their wounds so they could continue with their task to help the rest. I did so and they moved on.

SSG Nasir Wong

Special Report : Little India Riot (1)

Aftermath of QX 454 X Alpha 111 - The ambulance was set ablaze by the angry rioters present at the incident site that night

Aftermath of QX 454 X Alpha 111 – The ambulance was set ablaze by the angry rioters present at the incident site that night

BANG! I heard a loud sound coming from the back of the ambulance. As we drove along Race Course Road, I was greeted by hundreds of rioters.

None of us knew what to expect next and we had no idea what the situation was all about. I saw rioters jumping with their hands raised above their heads as well as casualties with frightened faces trying to flee the scene. We drove and we drove and we reached a point where we could no longer drive further. The ambulance came to a stop.
Before we knew, the objects thrown at us smashed the windscreens of the ambulance. We were shocked and taken aback.
Immediately, I summoned the driver and NSF medic to take shelter with the rest of us at the back of the ambulance. As the projectiles flew in to the ambulance via the broken windows, we reached out to anything available to use them as shields to protect ourselves.Wewere desperate. As I was reaching out to an extrication device to fend myself from the objects thrown at us, I saw four police officers situated beside our ambulance.
Unlike us, they had to fend for themselves in the open. Immediately, my crew and I shouted for their attention. We knew we had to lend
a helping hand. Without hesitation, we invited them on board quickly to take shelter. The police officers jumped on and within what
seemed less than a split second, a concrete slab pierced through the ambulance and hit my leg. My legs weakened and I fell on my knees.
Physically, I was toppled. Emotionally, I broke down.My leg was bleeding as the chaos persisted. For a moment, I felt completely blank. I did not know how to react.

Fortunately, my NSF medic came to my rescue and attended to my injury without being held back by any of the ongoing chaos.

Gently, he covered me with a blanket and reminded me that everything will be over soon.
Tears streamed down my face. I was ready to accept the worse. At that point in time, all I could think of was my family and loved ones. Memories of how my father always shared with me his lifesaving stories as a firefighter when I was a little girl filled my head. I reached for my phone and dialled for my dad. I was afraid that I would not make it through this ordeal. Over the phone, I told him that I was stuck in a chaotic situation. As I spoke, I choked.
Suddenly, the vehicles in front were set ablaze. I was astonished and speechless. I dropped my phone and I thought that was the last time my family would hear from me. I could not reconcile with what I saw.Everything was happening so quickly in the midst of all chaos and noise. The rioters became unruly and I could sense their fury even as I hid behind the ambulance with the rest of my crew. They started to crowd around our ambulance and some attempted to reach for the keys of our vehicle via the smashed windows. He stuck his hand into the ambulance and began to turn the engine on and off intermittently. Wild thoughts filled my head.
Courageously, one of our NSF medics got on his feet and chased the rioters away. Despite his young age, he was unbeatened by the situation.Not to our surprise, the rioters persisted but our medic was firm and insistant that they do not try anything else to threaten or harm our safety any further. I buried my head under the blanket hoping that I can escape from everything that was going on. As I peer through the cloth that covered my head, I saw the rest of the crew and police officers discussing.

I was engulfed by fear such that I could not even reconcile with what was going on. I felt someone lift the cloth off my
forehead gently. My NSF medic proposed for us to leave the ambulance from the
backdoors. He suggested for us to run away as quickly as we could. I was reluctant. My leg was hurting badly and I was afraid of being attacked by the rioters. There and then, one of the police officers whom we invited onboard placed his hands on my shoulders firmly and began to shake me.

“You listen up. You have to be strong. You have to run or you will be burned alive in the
ambulance.‚ÄĚ Believe me. You will be fine, and this is my promise to you.I want you and your NSFs to run first so that we can watch out and protect you from the back regardless of what is going to happen.‚ÄĚ

At this time, more rioters started to crowd around the ambulance and a group of them violently opened one of the back doors of the ambulance. They hurled at us and started to threaten that they were going to burn the ambulance like what they did to the other
vehicles.

‚ÄúEven as a child, I dreamed of becoming a paramedic one day.When I finally achieved this dream of mine, I bought myself a stethoscope with my first salary as a paramedic. Little did I know‚Ķ‚ÄĚ

The NSF medics jumped off the ambulance and began to run. I did not know what I should do and I felt a nudge on my back. I threw myself out of the ambulance and began to sprint forth. I did not know where I was going but I knew I had to run.
At one point, I turned back and the same police officers were behind me.They gestured with their hands and shouted to me to keep running and to never turn back. I ran and I ran. That was the only thing I could and had to do to save my dear life.
Finally, I saw familiar faces! My heart warmed up as my body sliced through the chills of the wind. I saw the crew from the other ambulances and some other police officers at the end of the road. I felt a deep sense of relief. Just as I thought the episode was over…
I stood still and witnessed my very own ambulance Alpha 111, burn into flames from afar.
There was complete silence among us as we watched the fire engulf the appliance. Memories of the times when I have used it to commute and to save lives flashed into my head. Faintly, I was reminded of my personal stethoscope that I had left behind in the same ambulance that was burning before my eyes. I want to thank the police officers for keeping to their promise to protect me all the way.

EXERCISE ODYSSEY

Exerciseoddyssey

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) will open the new MCE from 9am on Sunday, 29
December 2013. The 5km-long MCE, Singapore’s tenth expressway, connects the Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway (KPE) and the East Coast Parkway (ECP) in the east to the Ayer Rajah Expressway (AYE) in the west. 3.6km of the MCE is built as a tunnel, including a 420m section literally underneath the sea bed.

Before the MCE is commenced, SCDF conducted the Exercise Odyssey to better
prepare ourselves for any potential threats similar to the nature of the simulation. The stark difference with this tunnel exercise, as compared to previous tunnel exercises at CTE and KPE, was the use of the tunnel’s sprinkler deluge system to put out car fires that occur within the tunnel.

Upon the detection of fire via the CCTVs, the LTA Operations Command Centre (LTAOCC) will activate the sprinkler deluge system at the respective zone/s. Upon our arrival, our rescuers will conduct an appreciation of situation and decide whether or not to shut off the sprinkler deluge system via the deluge system niches, while conducting rescue and mitigation work.

2

Simulation of 2 car fires that occurred as a result of the Road Traffic Accident

About 16 appliances from Marina Bay, Central, Alexandra, Paya Lebar and Clementi fire stations took part in the exercise which was completed in about 2 hours. Other than validating the response plans for the MCE, the exercise also allowed responders from the different fire stations to be more familiar with the new tunnel such as the responding routes to take to reach the incident site, the tunnel fire-fighting facilities, as well as collaborating with other agencies like the Traffic Police, LTA traffic marshals and Vehicle Recovery Services in mitigating the different types of incidents that can occur in the tunnel.

ALL HANDS ON DECK!

Drawing upon the engineering expertise of the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) College Central, SCDF marine specialists gained new perspectives during the inaugural SCDF Marine Command Marine Engineering Course.

12 marines successfully graduated from the inaugural Civil Defence Marine Command Marine Engineering Course conducted by ITE College Central on 06 December 2013. The 5 day course has equipped them with both technical and practical skills to help them better
understand the dynamics of marine engines and mechanisms.

Our marines guided by Marine Engineering course manager Sagaran Gopal (centre) on the use of sophisticated simulator which allows one to simulate steering and operating a Life Crew Carrier Tanker. The simulator reposnd with actual life data collected from a specific Life Crew Carrier Tanker

Our marines guided by Marine Engineering course manager Sagaran Gopal (centre) on the use of sophisticated simulator which allows one to simulate steering and operating a Life Crew Carrier Tanker. The simulator reposnd with actual life data collected from a specific Life Crew Carrier Tanker

 

For marine specialist CPT Tan Choo Hwee, dismantling and reassembling a centrifugal pump was never this stressful. This is because the marine fire vessels (MFV) under the charge of the SCDF Marine Command utilises centrifugal pumps for their
fire-fighting operations. During the course, the marine specialists acquired technical knowledge such as the dismantlement and
reassembly of a centrifugal pump as well theoretical knowledge on how the engines and systems onboard functions. ‚ÄúThanks to the experienced lecturers, we are now more confident in operating the engine and performing front-line maintenance for the vessel,‚ÄĚ said CPT Tan.

Marine Engineering course manager Mr Gopal has been teaching engineering-related courses for the past 25 years at ITE College. He has also conceptualised the Marine Engineering course curriculum for ITE College Central. Mr Gopal keeps himself updated by being an active volunteer with the Republic of Singapore Navy

Marine Engineering course manager Mr Gopal has been teaching engineering-related courses for the past 25 years at ITE College. He has also conceptualised the Marine Engineering course curriculum for ITE College Central. Mr Gopal keeps himself updated by being an active volunteer with the Republic of Singapore Navy

‚ÄúThanks to the experienced lecturers, we are now more confident in operating the engine and performing front-line maintenance for the vessel,‚ÄĚ said CPT Tan.

The course held by ITE College Central was anchored by lecturers Mr Chew Tee Liang and Ms Justina Ng, who have over 30 years of teaching expertise and 20 years of marine engineering experience combined.

Marine specialist instructor WO2 Shaari Mohd Bani shared that the course was indeed an eye-opening experience for him as he was given the opportunity to learn about the actual MFV engines and maintenance, outside of fire fighting.

This inaugural SCDF Marine Command Marine Engineering Course is testament to the strong partnership between ITE College Central and SCDF. There are also plans in the pipeline for all SCDF marine specialists to undergo the course.

Veteran lecturer Mr Chew Tee (centre in dark blue) with more than 30 years of teaching engineering under his belt, was forthcoming with his answers to the inquisitive marine fire fighters.

Veteran lecturer Mr Chew Tee (centre in dark blue) with more than 30 years of teaching engineering under his belt, was forthcoming with his answers to the inquisitive marine fire fighters.

This will better prepare our marines for the five new marine fire fighting vessels that will be added to the fleet by 2015.

‚ÄúSCDF‚Äôs Marine Command is a relatively new set-up, and it is good that we are able to leverage on this niche expertise in engineering that ITE College Central has,‚ÄĚ said LTC Bob Tan, Assistant Director for SCDF‚Äôs Community Preparedness Branch.

‚ÄúNow, not only do our marines have the skills for marine fire fighting and rescue, with this course they are also equipped to understand the basic mechanisms onboard the vessels and can handle frontline maintenance,‚ÄĚ he added.

With an impressive dry dock with actual engines and a customised ship simulator at ITE College, the 12 marines found themselves occupied with learning as much as they could about marine engineering.

This partnership has proven to be a win-win situation for both SCDF and ITE College Central.

Mr Kong Chee Seng, Director of Engineering at ITE College Central, noted that similar to the other partnerships that the
College’s School of Engineering has, working with SCDF to form the curriculum for the SCDF Marine Command Marine Engineering Course gives the school a new understanding of the skills necessary for marine fire fighting.

‚ÄúThis helps us understand what the industry needs and adds to our curriculum for our students. They also get the chance for attachment at the marine fire station and experience the routine of a marine specialist‚Ķ this gives our students yet another prospective employment option,‚ÄĚ said Mr Kong.

FIRE AT JALAN GAHARU

3

‚ÄúThere‚Äôs a fire in the house and there are people inside!‚ÄĚ.

These were the words I read off the call sheet as the combined platform ladder raced against time on the fog filled roads of Clementi. Everyone else was fast asleep while our pump ladders pierced through the chill air and our sirens breaking the silence of the night. Upon our arrival, the ragin fire had already fully engulfed what seemed like a temple. The roof of the temple collapsed and we were not certain if the people within had evacuated from the premises.

Time was not on our side. We had to work fast.

Our utmost priority was to prevent a fire spread and to search for survivors. At once, two jets were up, one used as a fire curtain while another as protection for the pump ladder crew as they swiftly worked through the labyrinth of collapsed roof, walls and burning furniture. Minutes felt like hours as we pulled and propelled the water hoses to fight the inferno.

At the same time, SCDF Operations Centre was calling in for an account
of the latest situation. Under the instructions of our ground commander, we pushed on with our thermal imagers with the hope of
finding a survivor within the chaos. The fire was extinguished but unfortunately, we found two bodies found piled under a collapsed structure within one of the many bedrooms. As we moved back to the fire station, silence engulfed the crew but deep within, we knew we had done what we possibly could under such challenging circumstances.

Nurturing Our Youthful Heroes

MY CD DAY

MYCDDAY2

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 35 other followers