If you have been keeping up with the news today, you would have discovered that there was an SCDF personnel who sadly, passed away yesterday.
It is always quite a sorrowful affair when someone so young passes on, especially when it is something that could have been avoided.
This article is meant not just to remember a precious life that was lost.
It is also to serve as a warning to everyone out there that life is not a game. And that all actions have consequences that we should take very seriously.
So here are 8 facts about the sad affair of the SCDF personnel who passed away on May 13 (Sunday).
1. SCDF NSF Was Going To ORD Soon
ORD is a time for celebration and many who have gone through the process will speak of certain hilarious ‘rites of passages’ that the young men are made to go through.
However, some of these rites of passages are downright dangerous.
And this is how Corporal (CPL) Kok Yuen Chin lost his life, after taking part in ORD activities that put his personal safety at risk. He was to ORD on Wednesday (16 May 2018).
Please heed this warning: certain acts are illegal for good reason, to ensure your safety.
Conduct your rites of passage in a manner that is not just fun, but also that is safe for everyone involved!
2. Pump Wells at Fire Stations
Pump wells in fire stations serve two purposes. Firstly, they are used for training purposes with heavy supervision, and secondly, they are there to test the pumps of fire engines.
As for what they are, they’re basically huge reservoirs of water.
Corporal Kok went into the pump well but did not resurface. It was reported that these activities are banned by the authorities for being too dangerous.
3. Squad Mates Dived In, But Couldn’t Find Him
When Corporal Kok did not resurface, a few of the personnel present jumped into the well and to try and rescue him.
But they were not able to find him.
The pump had to be drained of all water before he could be found.
A paramedic administered first-aid by giving CPR and using the automated external defibrillator.
He was sent to Ng Teng Fong Hospital and pronounced dead at the hospital itself.
4. Two Arrested During Preliminary Investigations
Two arrests have been made so far during the preliminary investigations into how Corporal Kok fell into the pump well. The two are regulars, and according Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam, “It’s likely that there will be charges pressed in court. They will have a right to defend themselves.”
They are investigating to see if anyone is criminally responsible for his passing.
These early investigations have revealed that the loss of life was due to a series of unlawful and prohibited activities.
5. Unauthorised Activies in SCDF
There have been certain unlawful and unauthorised activities that have gone on in fire stations in times past, but they have not led to the loss of life.
SCDF has meted out harsh punishments to personnel caught doing them in an effort to deter others from doing the same thing.
SCDF is not tolerant of any prohibited activity, especially those that place human lives at risk, and would “take the officers to task” if they broke the rules.
Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam also said that this “is unacceptable, period” and promises to get to the bottom of this incident. Also, he has asked the SCDF to do an audit, and to send a clear message that this shouldn’t be repeated.
6. Education of the Officers
SCDF has prided itself on continually educating its officers on what is prohibited within the premises.
Not only at foundational courses, but also at recruit and specialist briefings, and even every so often, prohibited activities and their risks are constantly highlighted to all personnel.
SCDF takes the safety of their officers and personnel extremely seriously and has been doing everything in their power to prevent unfortunate incidents like the one that Corporal Kok was involved in.
7. Briefings Conducted at Fire Stations Islandwide
After the devastating news of the death of NSF Corporal Kok, SCDF will now be conducting briefings in fire stations islandwide.
They also have a whistle-blowing programme to help relevant officials identify any type of irresponsible or illegal behaviours going on, and the parties involved.
8. A Board of Inquiry will be convened and details will be made public
This is currently an ongoing investigation.
As such, a Committee of Enquiry has been formed and until such time the investigation is complete, this is all that is available to the public.
Corporal Kok’s family, as well as the SCDF, appreciates the support of the public in waiting to know more but would appreciate privacy and respect in this difficult time of mourning.
Please allow this incident to serve as a deterrent and warning to anyone who has been or is thinking about engaging in prohibited behaviours.
In the meantime, SCDF NSF Corporal Kok, the nation mourns with you and your family.
Thank you for your service, may you rest in peace.
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