PNSFs share their thoughts of being on the frontline of the COVID-19 fight.

PHOTOS: Shawn Thiah (PSND)

“Providing psychological support is a crucial element in any emergency services setting,” shares LTA (NS) Ariff Bin Zafrullah, who is part of the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF)’s Operationally Ready National Service (ORNS) CARE unit. And this is where LTA Ariff’s unit and the Emergency Behavioural Sciences and Care (EBSC) unit come in with their expertise.

Equipped with basic counselling skills and trained to conduct psychological assessments, both units provide basic psychological assistance and facilitate crisis intervention in emergencies. They reach out to affected SCDF personnel and their next-of-kin, as well as monitor the morale of frontline SCDF personnel.

Officers at GQFs go on regular patrols to ensure the security of the facilities.

Learning on the job

When asked about their thoughts on being at the frontline in the fight against COVID-19, they described their involvement as a fulfilling one.

They felt that this was a rare opportunity for them to play a part in the nation’s efforts in combating COVID-19. They also shared that this was a great learning journey — as the situation at the GQFs was dynamic, they had to constantly improvise their response in dealing with unexpected scenarios.

Just as importantly, the PNSFs were able to learn from their Regular Police Officer counterparts during their deployment at the GQFs.

The PNSFs shared that comprehensive measures were in place to take care of their welfare and safety during the deployment, so that they were able to focus on their duties. Their supervisors were also very supportive of their additional duties. SCSGT(2) Choh Kai Sen mentioned that his Team Leader had even brought extra food for him when visiting them.

National Service (NS) is a phase that every Singaporean son has to go through. For the PNSFs, they were glad that their NS was not just a phase, but they were able to contribute meaningfully to the safety of Singapore during the COVID-19 pandemic.

*Interview and photo-taking took place before the Circuit Breaker.

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