Singapore Civil Defence Force
Feature | Organisation

Towards a Safe and
Secure Homeland

Singapore Civil Defence Force
As the Life Saving Force, the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) ensures that highly-trained officers and specialists are ready to respond to life-threatening emergencies round-the-clock.

As part of Singapore's Home Team, the SCDF is dedicated to its mission of protecting and saving lives and property for a safe and secure Singapore. This mission resonated strongly with Mui Chin Nam, who wanted to make a difference to society.

After graduating from Singapore Polytechnic, Chin Nam studied life sciences at the National University of Singapore. However, he later realised that pursuing a career in the research field would entail laboratory work and technical reports. Chin Nam knew that he was destined for something much more dynamic and exciting, which led him to apply for the Home Affairs Uniformed Services Local Merit Scholarship halfway through his university education.

Today, Chin Nam is pursuing his true passion – to protect his country, community and loved ones. He is leading a team of life savers and responding to real-world threats as a Rota Commander at Tampines Fire Station.

Unparalleled Satisfaction

As a Rota Commander, Chin Nam is responsible for leading a highly competent and efficient team. He oversees a myriad of aspects, such as ensuring effective operational response, skills competency, personal development, and training safety. Chin Nam also handles the administration, logistics and operations of the fire station.

The key function of his job is to respond to fire and rescue incidents and the tenacious Chin Nam embraces such challenges. In fact, Chin Nam and his team often face unique obstacles that test their personal strength, teamwork and resilience.

He recalls attending to an accident involving a motorist, whose foot was stuck in his brake pedal. Although the motorist was conscious, Chin Nam and his team could see that he was getting weaker by the minute. Fortunately, they were able to extricate him from the vehicle with the help of several rescue tools.

"Every minute counts. In such situations, you are racing against time to extricate the victim so that he or she can get immediate medical treatment. With that said, the satisfaction one derives from a successful extrication is certainly unparalleled," says Chin Nam.

Mui Chin Nam

Mui Chin Nam
Rota Commander,
Tampines Fire Station

(As of August 2016, Chin Nam has assumed a new appointment as a of IEDD Threat at SCDF HQ's HazMat department)

"Instead of seeing work as purely work, we can see it as a platform to learn."

One Career, Many Opportunities

Recognising that its people are its strength, the SCDF is committed to the all-round development of each officer. Apart from professional training and enrichment courses, officers are also encouraged to sign up for personal developmental programmes.

Opportunities for further education are also offered to officers who have proven themselves capable of assuming higher appointments. SCDF officers are groomed at each stage of their career through mentorship, varied job exposure, and opportunities to participate in overseas missions and exchange programmes.

"A career in the SCDF offers one exposure to a wide range of experiences that cannot be found elsewhere. Apart from handling emergency responses, you will get to see the different facets of the Home Team and the Life Saving Force. You get to meet people from all walks of life and make a positive impact on the community," adds Chin Nam.

The SCDF also strives to cultivate a supportive and positive environment. Chin Nam appreciates the valuable guidance he has received from his team of capable and experienced Section Commanders. This is indicative of SCDF's strong camaraderie, which Chin Nam found highly evident during the 28-week Rota Commander Course.

Chin Nam shares excitedly, "The tough training, the strong bonds formed with my fellow comrades, and the immense satisfaction of tossing our caps in the air during the Commissioning Parade – the whole experience is indescribable!"

A Cut above the Rest

As SCDF officers are often exposed to real-world challenges, tenacity and courage are essential traits in their line of work. At the same time, Chin Nam advises future officers to possess a willingness to learn.

"Instead of seeing work as purely work, we can see it as a platform to learn. The more you engage yourself, the more you can learn about the Force, the way the Force works and what is expected of an officer. Another important quality is humility. One's humility is very apparent, especially to their superiors, colleagues and subordinates," says Chin Nam.

Regardless of the appointment or path you choose, a career with the SCDF enables you to make a difference to the lives of citizens.

Chin Nam gleefully concludes, "SCDF's life-saving mission is the very reason I decided to embark on this career. If you'd like to join the Life Saving Force, just do your best and don't look back. Oh, and start training for it!"