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Be A Guardian: Saving Lives, with Professionalism and Passion

For SCDF Paramedics, it’s about making a difference and saving lives.
PHOTO: Ashley Tuen

Be A Guardian showcases fulfilling career, scholarship and sponsorship opportunities in the Home Team.

For Sean Tan Rui Wen – Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) officer and a student of Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s (NP) Diploma in Nursing programme – practice makes perfect.

Arriving to meet Sean at NP’s School of Health Sciences, we found the hallways and classrooms uncharacteristically quiet. We later realised that the students were on a semester break and that Sean had returned to campus on his own time to practise his Nursing skills. Greeting us with a smile, he shared why professionalism and heart are vital to saving lives.

What motivated you to join the Home Team?
It all started back in my days at ITE (Institute of Technical Education). I started out by getting a NITEC in Nursing before proceeding to take up a Higher Certificate in Paramedic and Emergency Care, where I completed clinical attachments with SCDF. These attachments gave me the opportunity to have valuable, real-world exposure. 

I found out about the Home Team Sponsorship through a career fair and decided to join SCDF. I’m glad that I did so because the Home Team has given me the chance to make a difference in the lives of others.

Passionate about touching lives and making a difference, Sean made the decision to join the Home Team as a Paramedic Trainee. PHOTO: Ashley Tuen

What‘s a typical workday like for Paramedics? 
Our shift always starts with equipment check, but there is no “typical workday” in this vocation. The day-to-day life of a Paramedic varies with the emergency calls we receive. Every shift is a new experience. We put our skills to use every day, which makes the job even more fulfilling.

What’s one thing that you’d like to share about being a paramedic?
We have a duty to remain focused and composed, regardless of the cases we deal with. Once, during my clinical attachment with SCDF at Woodlands Fire Station, we received a call to respond to a road traffic accident. Imagine my shock when I realised that the casualty was a friend of mine. I knew that I had to stay composed as I carried out my duties professionally.

Thankfully, my friend’s injuries weren’t severe and he didn’t need to be hospitalised. Once my shift was over, I went over to his home to check on him. Staying focused is extremely important when it comes to providing emergency treatment, and we can’t afford to get distracted while on duty.

Practice makes perfect. Polishing his skills over the school break. PHOTOS: Ashley Tuen

What other qualities do Paramedics need to have?
It’s important for us to have perseverance because of the unique challenges of providing emergency treatment. We have to stay calm – always. It’s also important to stay professional at all times. Most of all, Paramedics have to be passionate about what we do. Our shifts can be challenging but time flies when we’re doing work that we’re passionate about. 

What do you love about your work? 
When we attend to a medical emergency, we’re responding to the needs of others. It’s rewarding to know that we’ve helped someone and made a difference to their lives.

Be A Guardian of Our Home
A recipient of both the Home Team ITE Sponsorship and the Home Team Diploma Sponsorship, Sean Tan Rui Wen is currently pursuing a Diploma in Nursing.

PHOTO: Ashley Tuen

Keen to become a Home Team Guardian? Visit the MHA Careers webpage to find out more about available Sponsorship and Scholarship opportunities. 
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Written by

Phylicia Poon


28 October 2019

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