Singapore Civil Defence Force
Feature | Organisation

Our Nation’s Lifesavers

Singapore Civil Defence Force
Gear up for an extraordinary journey with our nation’s Life Saving Force.

While some people are content with doing a deskbound job, there are others who thrive on being at the frontline of our nation’s safety and security. CPT Eddy Lin is one individual who embraces the fiery dynamism and challenges that come with such a role.

Growing up, CPT Eddy had always wanted to make a difference to society, having been an active member of the National Police Cadet Corps in secondary school. CPT Eddy’s passion for the Uniformed Service was also fueled by his father and older brother, who are in the Singapore Police Force and Singapore Prison Service respectively!

A career with the Home Team was an unequivocal choice for CPT Eddy, who applied for a Uniformed Service scholarship while in junior college. He was later awarded the Local Merit Scholarship by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and went on to pursue Applied Physics at Nanyang Technological University.

Currently a Rota Commander at Alexandra Fire Station, CPT Eddy constantly taps into his undergraduate education in his day-to-day work. “People always ask why I chose to study physics in university. What they may not realise is that physicists are prized for their analytical and problem-solving skills. This is why physics graduates are hired across different sectors. In my line of work, I have to assess situations, identify hazards, formulate mitigation strategies, and deploy available resources – all within a short period of time. It is akin to doing risk assessment, data analysis, trend forecasts, and problem-solving in the field of physics,” says CPT Eddy.

Broad Exposure

As part of the scholarship, CPT Eddy has received a broad spectrum of opportunities and training. He was attached to various departments in the HQ Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) before and during his time in university. The attachments helped him to better appreciate how everyone within the SCDF contributes to an effective and efficient Life-Saving Force.

In addition, CPT Eddy has benefitted greatly from the induction programmes organised by MHA. He had the opportunity to visit and learn more about the other agencies within MHA, including the Singapore Prison Service, Immigration & Checkpoints Authority of Singapore, and Internal Security Department. “Through these programmes, I was able to better understand the role of each Home Team agency. This enables greater synergy within the Home Team, especially during joint operations,” says CPT Eddy.

In preparation for his current role as a Rota Commander, CPT Eddy had undergone a seven-month training programme. He shares, “The training was intensive, but it aimed to push us to our limits and prepare us for challenges. While training missions can never fully replicate dynamic real-world situations, they help to prepare us for all possible scenarios. One challenge we faced during training was trying to get used to wearing our bunker gear!”

CPT Eddy Lin

CPT Eddy Lin 
MHA Local Merit Scholar

Rota Commander, Alexandra Fire Station

“This is not just a job; it is a calling.”

Call of Duty

As a Rota Commander, CPT Eddy leads a team of over 30 frontline officers to respond to and mitigate fire, rescue, and hazardous material incidents. CPT Eddy and his team oversee the Alexandra boundary, which includes several unique places such as embassies, research laboratories, and Pulau Bukom.

Additionally, CPT Eddy and his team check for fire safety infringements in various vicinities and conduct operational surveys of premises. They familiarise themselves with locations by identifying exit staircases and firefighting provisions to prepare for future incidents.

CPT Eddy also conducts the Company Emergency Response Team (CERT) audit for public and industrial premises. He ensures that the CERTs of companies are capable and meet the standards outlined by the SCDF.

No two days are the same in CPT Eddy’s role. His job does not just involve extinguishing fires but also attending to road traffic accidents and suicide cases.

“The job can be mentally arduous, but we must stay resilient and remember that it is our job to save lives. Every second counts and we cannot allow something major to affect our decision-making,” says CPT Eddy.

While his job entails diverse challenges, CPT Eddy derives fulfillment from making a difference to people’s lives. He says, “It might not mean much to the world, but it means the world to those affected. There’ve been times when we were offered drinks by those we rendered assistance to – it’s a small but heartwarming gesture! Another heartening aspect of my job is experiencing the community spirit within a neighbourhood in times of danger. We often see residents helping each other and cooperating with us during incidents.”

Joining the Force

For enthusiastic and steadfast youths aspiring to join the Force, CPT Eddy assures that you will be welcomed with open arms. He enthuses, “We are like a big family here. As we often deal with life-and-death situations, it’s important for us to watch each other’s backs. Our deputy commanders, who have a wealth of experience under their belts, are always willing to guide us and impart advice. I am very thankful to be part of my current Rota – I feel right at home here!”

CPT Eddy wraps up the interview with some inspiring advice: “As a fresh grad without much experience, you may have to overcome many hurdles on the job. This is why passion and resilience are key in this line of work. This is not just a job; it is a calling.”