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CDAU Celebrates 10 Years since its Inception in 2006
Parliamentary Secretary Mr Amrin Amin joined members of the CDAU in celebrating its 10th anniversary.

The Civil Defence Auxiliary Unit (CDAU) celebrated its 10th anniversary on 12 August 2016. The volunteer arm of the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) was first introduced back in 2006 with the aim to engage the community, while providing an opportunity for volunteers to contribute to the nation’s Civil Defence efforts.

Parliamentary Secretary Mr Amrin (4th from left) Amin prepares to cut a cake to celebrate the CDAU's 10th anniversary. PHOTO: Mabel Yap

Guest-of-Honour Parliamentary Secretary for the Ministry of Home Affairs Mr Amrin Amin recognised the time and efforts put in by volunteers heeding the call to be lifesavers.

“The volunteers wear the same SCDF uniform and perform their duties alongside our regular officers, full-time National Servicemen (NSFs) and Operational Ready National Servicemen (ORNSmen),” Mr Amrin said.

The number of volunteers has also increased significantly over time; from the initial 26 volunteers in 2006 to over 250 in 2016.

“The CDAU volunteers hail from all walks of life… doctors, financial consultants, pilots, teachers, cabin crew, a Martial Arts expert, and even a father and his daughter,” Mr Amrin added.

The number of vocations available for volunteers to take up has also increased over time. These now include Firefighting, Emergency Medical Service, Public Education, Community Involvement, Enforcement, Heritage Gallery Guide and Expertise Group.

Awards were given to 12 Exemplary CDAU Officers, as well as one recipient for the CDAU Outstanding Officer Award.

The CDAU Outstanding Officer Award was presented to Warrant Officer 2 (V) Yunnos Bin Shariff, who is also the CDAU’s oldest volunteer.

Before he became an active CDAU member, Mr Yunnos, who will turn 73 in September 2016, spent most of his career in the operations sector at Central Fire Station.

Now a guide at the Civil Defence Heritage Gallery, Mr Yunnos uses his experience as a career firefighter to engage the minds of guests.

“(The) fire museum is very important. Sometimes overseas firefighters will visit us, and they want to know more about the past, so being one of the oldest guide around, I am the only person who can relate the stories,” Mr Yunnos said.

Mr Yunnos retired at the age of 60 in 2003, and was keen to return to the force after his retirement. After taking a break, he signed up with the CDAU in 2010 and returned as a guide at the Civil Defence Heritage Gallery.

Mr Yunnos Bin Shariff (right) receives the CDAU Outstanding Officer Award from Parliament Secretary Mr Amrin Amin. Mr Yunnos hails from a family of firefighters, and started volunteering with the CDAU in 2010 after retiring in 2003. PHOTO: Mabel Yap

“I told the manager that I am not going out for other departments, once I am at Heritage, I am there forever until I close my eyes,” he added.

“Mr Yunnos enthrals visitors…with tales of his youth and the colourful stories of life in Central Fire Station. Through his eloquent and passionate narration, he makes the rich history of the fire station come alive,” Mr Amrin said before presenting the CDAU Outstanding Officer Award to Mr Yunnos.

The CDAU was founded by former SCDF Commissioner (Ret.) James Tan, who established the CDAU in 2006 with the objective of providing an opportunity for passionate and enthusiastic individuals to contribute their time enthusiasm to serving the community.

Former SCDF Commissioner Mr James Tan, founder of the CDAU, poses for a photo during the CDAU's 10th anniversary celebration dinner. PHOTO: Mabel Yap

“When I formed the CDAU 10 years ago, it was akin to planting a seed and aspiring to see it grow. We started with 26 volunteers and yes, my aspirations have come true today for the CDAU has grown steadily to over 250 volunteers that branches into seven different vocations,” Comr (Ret.) Tan added.

During the award presentation, Mr Amrin also touched on the matter of keeping Singapore safe and secure in light of looming terrorist threats to the country.

“While the government has put in place security measures to deter and prevent terrorist attacks, we also need the community to be our partner in the fight against terrorism. We need everyone to be vigilant, be prepared to help ourselves and others in the event of a terrorist attack, and also be able to bounce back quickly to normalcy after an attack,” Mr Amrin said.

For that, the Ministry of Home Affairs recently introduced SGSecure, a national movement to prepare Singaporeans against possible terrorist attacks.

“As a prepared and skilled force, the CDAU is well-poised to equip and mobilise Singaporeans to protect themselves and the people around them in a terrorist attack…If our community is able to help themselves, this will help greatly in the emergency response,” he added.

CDAU volunteers attend a briefing on SGSecure before anniversary celebrations. PHOTO: Mabel Yap

Learn more about the CDAU, and how you may contribute to Singapore’s nation building efforts: https://www.hometeamvolunteers.gov.sg/htvms/web/scdf

© 2019 Ministry of Home Affairs, Singapore. All Rights Reserved.

  1. by Desmond Ang
  2. 15 August 2016
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