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Honouring the Past, Embracing the Future
A fitting farewell for the Pioneers of the old Jurong Fire Station, and an exclusive look at the new Station.

The feeling was bittersweet for Senior Warrant Officer (SWO) Jerry Chia and SWO Md Saleh Bin Ali from the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) as they entered the grounds of the new Jurong Fire Station for its opening ceremony on 17 November 2017.

The operationalisation of the new Jurong Fire Station, which began on 20 September 2017, signalled the end of an era for the two SCDF Pioneers, whose beginnings as firefighters were tied to the old Station.

Fond Memories

“I have many fond memories of the old Station because I spent a lot of time training and working there,” said SWO Jerry, who enlisted as a Full-time National Serviceman (NSF) with the Singapore Fire Brigade in 1977. “When I was serving my National Service (NS), I attended a fire call at Telok Blangah. While fighting the fire, we found a victim who was unconscious inside and we managed to revive him through Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).”

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Senior Warrant Officer Jerry Chia (standing) hailed from the 4th Firefight Course of 1977. PHOTO: Aizil A. Rahim

This incident inspired SWO Jerry, who will be turning 57, to sign on as a regular firefighter.

SWO Md Salleh Bin Ali – known to his colleagues as Encik “Agayle” – will never forget the moment he first laid eyes on the old Station at Boon Lay Drive, in September 1975.

A Beautiful Station in No Man’s Land

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PHOTO: Aizil A. Rahim

“When I arrived, I saw a beautiful station; but it was in "No Man’s Land. There were no other buildings around as the area was reclaimed land,” SWO Agayle recalled. “The weather was our greatest challenge. There were no trees or cover, and between our yard drills, we would rest in the shadows at the edge of the Station.”

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Senior Warrant Officer Md Salleh Bin Ali, also known as Encik “Agayle”, joined the Singapore Civil Defence Force when he was 17 years old. PHOTO: SCDF

SWO Agayle also remembered fondly the training conducted at the old Fire Tower, which tested the endurance of trainee firefighters. The old Station was also home to the Jurong Fire Training School, and it was here that generations of firefighters underwent rigorous training and honed their life-saving skills

“We used to do a number of training scenarios at the old Fire Tower, like rappelling and pitching ladders. These tested our fitness and raised our endurance,” said SWO Agayle.

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In the mornings, NSF trainees carried hoses on their shoulders and ran up the tower as part of their morning training session. After reaching the top of the tower, they had to shout “Good Morning, Jurong Fire Station!”. PHOTO: Aizil A. Rahim

It was a fitting farewell for the Pioneers of the old Jurong Fire Station as SWO Jerry and SWO Agayle gathered with SCDF officers past and present at the new Jurong Fire Station at Jurong West.

A brick wall from the old Station had been preserved and incorporated into the façade, as a reminder of the Station’s rich history.

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SCDF Pioneers Senior Warrant Officers Md Salleh Bin Ali "Agayle" (left) and Jerry Chia (right) at the new Jurong Fire Station. PHOTO: Aizil A. Rahim

The new Station has been designed to meet the needs of the Jurong area as it embarks on its next phase of transformation which includes developments such as Wenya Industrial Estate, the Jurong Lake District and the Lakeside leisure precinct. To meet its operational requirements, the Station’s fleet of emergency vehicles will include the SCDF’s new Fire Medical Vehicle, which combines firefighting, rescue and medical capabilities into a single platform.

By honouring its past and embracing the future, Jurong Fire Station looks set to carry on a proud tradition.

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

  1. by Desmond Ang
  2. 24 November 2017
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