On Assignment
MHA COS 2018: Reinforcing SGSecure in the Workplace
Many businesses from major corporations to small firms are embracing the SGSecure message and preparing their staff to respond to terror attacks and other emergencies.

During the Ministry of Home Affairs’ (MHA) Committee of Supply (COS) Debate, Minister K Shanmugam, Second Minister Josephine Teo and Parliamentary Secretary Amrin Amin shared the Home Team’s plans to deal with future challenges in keeping our home safe and secure.

SGSecure Workplace1
Spurred on by his Emergency Preparedness training during his NS days, Mr Iskandar Ismail is driving Highlander's involvement in bizSAFE training and the SGSecure movement. PHOTO: Jaiesh Sachi

Why did you join the SGSecure movement?

As a citizen of Singapore, I felt that I had a duty to involve myself in sharing the SGSecure message. It goes back to my NS days as an SPF patrol officer. You never know when you might need to help save a life, or protect others.

Clarke Quay draws a large number of people every day, so we, along with our neighbouring establishments, are potential targets of a terror attack. I felt that our staff should join the SGSecure movement in order to better protect our patrons if an attack occurs.

Tell us about the training that your staff have attended.

All our staff recently attended Level One of the bizSAFE training programme where we learnt important Emergency Preparedness SGSecure skills such as the “Run, Hide, Tell” advisory.

We also had the opportunity to refresh our skills in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and using the Automated External Defibrillator, as well as learnt new techniques in Improvised First Aid and using a fire extinguisher. We’re all familiar with the SGSecure Guide for Workplaces, and now our staff feel more confident that if a terror attack happens or a fire breaks out, we’ll be prepared to respond and help keep our patrons safe.

Home Team News
As part of the SGSecure for Workplaces programme, Iskandar uses the SGSecure Guide for Workplaces to share SGSecure initiatives with his colleagues. PHOTO: Jaiesh Sachi

Have you or your staff been able to apply any Emergency Preparedness skills while on the job?

Just last week, one of our patrons stepped on a piece of broken glass and was badly cut. I instructed her to sit down and then used a towel to stem the bleeding while my staff bandaged and dressed the wound using our first aid kit. We called the 995 hotline and, when the paramedics came, they were impressed that we’d responded so quickly and calmly. It made all of us at Highlander feel more confident about our ability to administer first aid.

I think our Emergency Preparedness training has equipped us well for a terror attack. There’s always an element of uncertainty, of course, so we have to be as prepared as possible.

Last November, some of our staff were also involved in two simulated terror attacks carried out in Clarke Quay as part of Exercise Heartbeat. The moment we heard the sound of gunfire and saw the “terrorists” approaching, we responded accordingly, running away and taking cover until the threat had passed.

Home Team News
Patrons and employees take part in Exercise Heartbeat 2017 along with the Singapore Police Force. PHOTOS: Amni Amran

Why should business owners learn more about the SGSecure for Workplaces programme?

It’s important that every single employee knows about SGSecure and what to do in the event of a terror attack. As business owners and staff, we’re responsible for keeping our customers and patrons safe in times of crisis. Our bizSAFE and SGSecure training helps us to fulfil this duty.

More on Committee of Supply (COS) 2018

Read the speech by Minister K Shanmugam.

Read the speech by Second Minister Josephine Teo.

Read the speech by Parliamentary Secretary Amrin Amin.

Visit the COS 2018 webpage.

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

  1. by Jaiesh Sachi
  2. 08 March 2018
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