Last Updated on 2022-12-11 , 6:49 pm
Earlier this week, on Thursday (8 December), a 19-year-old NSF passed away after fighting a fire at Henderson Road.
As part of the first response crew to the fire, which occurred at around 11.10 am at Block 91 Henderson Road that day, CPL Go fell unconscious in the kitchen while trying to put out the fire with his colleagues.
He was then taken out of the burning unit, where cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) was performed on him.
Afterwards, an SCDF ambulance crew member also used an automated external defibrillator (AED) to try and resuscitate him. Unfortunately, he was pronounced dead at Singapore General Hospital.
The incident marked the first time a firefighter passed away during a mission in Singapore. It has since garnered the attention of many across the island, with some Singaporeans expressing their sympathy and others demanding a reasonable explanation behind what exactly happened.
And yesterday (9 December), the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) released a press statement that revealed more about CPL Edward H Go, the fallen firefighter who was publicly named for the first time since the incident.
Here’s what they had to say.
Ceremonial Funeral Will be Held
The statement read, “SCDF is deeply saddened by the death of CPL Edward. He is our first colleague to have fallen during an operation. We extend our deepest condolences to his family, and are providing them with our fullest support.”
It also revealed that the SCDF has since communicated with his family, and they have agreed to carry out a ceremonial funeral to honour him and his service.
His wake will be held from Sunday to Tuesday, and his funeral will also take place on Tuesday.
Enlisted Almost One Year Ago
On 5 January this year, CPL Go enlisted with the SCDF to start his National Service (NS) journey.
After 12 weeks of firefighter training that started on 3 February, he completed his training on 28 April.
He was then posted to Central Fire Station on 4 May after his course to serve as a firefighter.
In the statement, SCDF also noted that CPL Go had been a part of over 20 fire and rescue incidents since finishing his firefighter course.
Was a PES A NSF
Apart from that, SCDF also revealed that CPL Go was medically fit and belonged to the Physical Employment Standards (PES) A category, the highest standard, based on the medical checkups that he went through.
Based on the Central Manpower Base’s website, those certified as PES A and B1 can serve in frontline operational vocations.
“SCDF frontline units comprise regulars, NSFs and Operationally Ready National Servicemen (ORNSmen), all of whom are trained to carry out roles as rota commanders, section commanders or firefighters.
“In a fire or rescue emergency, officers of these vocations form a composite crew to respond to the incident,” SCDF added.
“SCDF officers, like Corporal Edward, put their lives on the line each time they enter the scene of a fire in order to save others,” the statement highlighted.
SCDF also explained that those carrying out these roles and responsibilities undergo multiple training courses for their firefighting and rescue missions at the Civil Defence Academy.
Was a “Bright Kid”
After CPL Go’s passing, friends and family spoke up about the person he was, with multiple describing him as a “bright kid”.
One of those who did so was Mr Shihan Ahnaf Shoeb, CPL Go’s trainer in the SCDF during his Basic Rescue Training.
He recalled how CPL Go started as very quiet and physically faced difficulties during the early days of his training but was able to warm up more and improve his physical standards throughout his training course.
He also said that CPL Go was always smiling and that he was a brilliant person with a bright future based on their conversations.
Mr Shihan, 23, also spoke up about CPL Go’s tenacity and shared that he never complained despite physical hardships during training and was a “real brave soldier”.
On Facebook, a user named Charles Ho mentioned that he was CPL Go’s uncle. He also echoed similar sentiments by saying that his nephew was always cheerful and friendly. Additionally, the 19-year-old was a “straight-A student” who had planned to attend medical school after NS.
Another Facebook user, Anne W. Holloway, also posted about the incident, saying, “My friend has lost her grandson and I cannot comprehend how this could happen in a ‘first world’ country with the best equipment that money can buy.
“I’m still shocked after receiving a WhatsApp message from our mutual friends in Hong Kong this morning – how can this happen?”
She recalled how his grandmother said CPL Go “was a lovely child while growing up, a source of much joy and happiness”.
She added that CPL Go’s entire family is very devoutly Christian and is close-knit. This loss, according to her, is “devastating” for the family.
“Please pray for Edward’s family so that they may bear this huge loss and recover from it. Pray also for Edward, a promising young man who had no chance to live the life which once was his,” she concluded.
A grieving woman, apparently CPL Go’s mother, appeared at the mortuary located at the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) yesterday (9 December) morning under the company of SCDF personnel, according to Lianhe Zaobao.
All Fire Station Open Houses to be Closed Temporarily
Commissioner Eric Yap from SCDF commented that CPL Go was “bravely carrying out his duty to save lives and property”.
“He was a courageous firefighter who was well-liked by his supervisors and colleagues. He was highly committed and dedicated to his duties,” he added.
Before the release of the news statement, SCDF announced yesterday (9 December) that all fire station open houses, the CD Heritage Gallery and the Emergency Preparedness Centre will be closed temporarily as a sign of respect to CPL Go.
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