Raising the bar – LTA (NS) Muhammad Syazwan Bin Mohamed Sadan leads by example when it comes to emergency incidents.

TEXT: AUDRINA GAN
PHOTOGRAPHY: DARREN CHANG

Broadening his horizons is what LTA (NS) Muhammad Syazwan Bin Mohamed Sadan likes to do for both his professional career and NS duties at the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF). As the Platoon Commander of 41 Rescue Battalion, he conducts yearly training for his NSmen to prepare them for rescue missions.

Syazwan, 28, who used to be involved in firefighting and rescue operations during his NS stint at Yishun Fire Station, says that such operations have given him a deeper understanding of the challenges at work in his current responsibility (as the Platoon Commander of a Rescue Battalion) – overseeing collapsed building and structure rescue missions.

My NS training with the SCDF has prepared me to deal with such incidents. I have a better understanding of how to send my men in and what type of equipment to use.

He has taken part in “Exercise Rambo”, which is a proficiency assessment exercise to assess the unit’s readiness, capability and performance. Additionally, he will represent his battalion as the flag bearer at the SCDF Parade on 23 November 2019.

In conjunction with the parade, the Singapore-Global Firefighters and Paramedics Challenge (SGFPC) will also be held, whereby emergency responders from various countries are invited to take part in a friendly competition. “Through the games, we will learn the best practices from different countries on how they would handle an emergency situation,” says Syazwan.

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He also volunteers with the Civil Defence Auxiliary Unit (CDAU), where he performs his duty as a fire and rescue officer at Yishun Fire Station. “One of the most memorable incidents was when I helped to rescue a crane operator who had fainted inside a tower crane. Together with the Emergency Medical Services [EMS] crew and Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team [DART], we brought him down safely and conveyed him to the hospital,” he shares.

Syazwan received the CDAU Exemplary Award in 2018 for his outstanding commitment to volunteering with SCDF, particularly his involvement in the events organised by his Division. “I’m proud to have received the award. It motivates me to encourage my men to volunteer and promote fire safety awareness as a way of giving back to society,” he says.

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Swinging into action – LTA (NS) Muhammad Syazwan Bin Mohamed Sadan shares the significance of changing our daily habits to protect the environment

As the issue of climate change becomes more critical, Syazwan says it is important to recognise how our actions are affecting the eco-system. “For instance, the use of disposable plastic straws will damage the environment. We should also purchase air-conditioning that is more energy efficient,” he adds.

For his part, Syazwan has bought a metal straw for his drinks and he carries a reusable food container whenever he needs to buy packed food. “I also turn on my air-conditioner for a few hours to cool down the temperature before switching it off,” he says. “I try to take the public transport more often,” he says.

As a cat lover, Syazwan appreciates projects such as the Eco-Link@BKE, a 62-metre-long ecological bridge, which connects the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve with the Central Catchment Nature Reserve. “Here, animals can have a safe crossing over a busy highway, providing a good example of how we can better protect the eco-system as we strive towards sustainable development,” he says.