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One Home Team: Responding to COVID-19 (Part 6)
Duty and dedication – Working as One Home Team as part of the national response to COVID-19.

Since the emergence of COVID-19, the Home Team has moved swiftly to support the national response to this public health threat. Here’s a snapshot of how our Home Team Guardians are playing their part.

00 Home Team News C-19 Part 6 01
GRAPHIC: Home Team News

Assistant Superintendent (ASP) Muhammed Nizammudin Bin Jailani, OC, Intelligence Division, Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB); and Staff Sergeant (SSGT) Jagan S/O Ganasekaran, Enforcement Division, CNB
In their usual role as CNB officers, ASP Nizammudin and SSGT Jagan help keep Singapore drug-free. In their new role as members of the Home Team’s Forward Assurance and Support Team (FAST), they’re giving their best to support our dormitory operations. They share their experiences with us.  

01 Home Team News C-19 CNB Part 6 02
ASP Nizammudin on FAST duty. PHOTOS: CNB

When did your FAST deployment start, and what does your role involve?
ASP Nizammudin: We’ve been attached to FAST since mid-April. Our role involves ensuring that safety precautions are observed at the dormitory and that the residents’ welfare and needs are taken care of. We also ensure that the dorm management takes the necessary measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

What do you do daily while on deployment?
ASP Nizammudin: I look out for any urgent issues faced by the residents and work with my team to mitigate these and highlight cases to FAST HQ. I also go on rounds at the facility to ensure that the residents observe safe distancing and wear their masks at all times, as well as oversee the provision of meals for the residents. I also assist in reporting the number of COVID-19 cases to FAST HQ and the number of residents who were in close contact with the positive cases; and ensure that the dorm management takes the necessary precautions.

SSGT Jagan: We engage with the residents and dispel any fake news or rumours that they might have heard. This helps to give them greater peace of mind during the circuit breaker period. We’ll also conduct checks on the dormitory to ensure that the residents’ living environment is clean and that their welfare isn’t compromised. 

What challenges have you faced?
ASP Nizammudin: One challenge is the need to take a very tactful approach in addressing concerns raised by the residents. Another is when we have to don the full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) under difficult conditions, as the weather can be unforgiving at times. 

SSGT Jagan: The residents come from different countries and speak different languages, so we have to put in effort to ensure effective communication. At first, I also wasn’t used to wearing the PPE. But I’ve now gotten used to it and have diligently adopted other important safety habits.

02 Home Team News C-19 CNB Part 6 03
SSGT Jagan at his deployment site. PHOTOS: CNB

What are some of the interesting incidents you’ve experienced in course of your duties?
SSGT Jagan: I find it interesting to work with officers from public agencies like the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and the Building and Construction Authority. We have different working styles, but we’re all working towards the same goal. This deployment is a good opportunity for us to learn from one another, and see how our roles are complementary in ensuring the well-being of the residents.

What keeps you motivated in doing your role?
ASP Nizammudin: The thought of being part of a national effort, and slowly but surely seeing us through this crisis – this is the driving force that has sustained me through this deployment. I want to do my best for our home, which I pledged to protect as a member of the Home Team. 

SSGT Jagan: My family has been very supportive – checking on me from time to time via phone calls and text messages to ensure that I’m feeling fine. Personally, this gives me the extra daily boost. I also count myself lucky to have the opportunity to work with my Home Team mates and fellow public officers during these challenging times. When this period has ended, I’ll have something to look back on, and can say that I did my part to contribute to the nation as a Home Team officer on the frontlines. 

SGT 2 Colvin Koh, Frontline Operations Officer, Operations Division, Singapore Prison Service (SPS); and SSGT Abdul Rahman Bin Khamis, Primary Screening Officer, Tuas Command Team B, Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA)
When the call for volunteers came, they responded. Since mid-April, Home Team officers have been deployed for Mobile FAST (mFAST) duties, conducting checks at Non-Purpose-Built Dormitories to ensure the well-being of migrant workers. We speak to SGT 2 Colvin Koh of SPS and SSGT Abdul Rahman Bin Khamis of ICA to find out more about their work as mFAST officers.

What do your mFAST duties involve? 
SGT 2 Colvin: Being part of the mFAST team requires me to be ready for deployment at all times. While our colleagues at FAST teams are deployed at Purpose-Built Dormitories, mFAST officers are deployed to locations as required by MOM to check on the well-being of migrant workers. Our goal is to render assistance to migrant workers and address their issues through proper channels.

My role requires me to put on different hats, especially when we’re helping to address welfare-related issues involving migrant workers and members of the public. As the IC for my team, I’m also responsible for ensuring the welfare of my team members and that we deliver quality work. I check on them constantly, and remind them that we’re all in this together.

SSGT Abdul Rahman: At Non-Purpose-Built Dormitories, we also assist dormitory operators and medical officers to set up screening facilities for COVID-19. 

04 Home Team News C-19 SPS Part 6 04
On the move: SGT 2 Colvin on mFAST duty. PHOTOS: SPS

What was your role prior to mFAST?
SGT 2 Colvin: Prior to being deployed for mFAST, I was a Frontline Operations Officer at the SPS HQ Operations Room. As a Frontline Operations Officer, I play an instrumental role in monitoring operations across all prison institutions and external sites. 

SSGT Abdul Rahman: Before mFAST, I was a Primary Screening Officer at Tuas Checkpoint. As a Primary Screening Officer, I help to safeguard our borders by ensuring that no undesirable people enter Singapore. As an mFAST officer, I’m now part of the nation’s efforts to manage COVID-19. These are both meaningful and fulfilling roles which I take pride in carrying out.

What are some of the challenges you face?
SSGT Abdul Rahman: One challenge we face is allaying their concerns on issues like health, wages and their livelihood. At the same time, we seek their cooperation and understanding during this difficult period. 

03 Home Team News C-19 ICA Part 6 05
SSGT Abdul Rahman on mFAST duty. PHOTOS: ICA

What are some of the safety measures you follow as part of your duties? 
SGT 2 Colvin: I make sure that my team members properly don their PPE such as N95 masks, gloves and face shields before going on-site. 

SSGT Abdul Rahman: I wear PPE during my duties and make a conscious effort to wash my hands regularly, especially after conducting a site visit, as well as before and after my meals. I also take a shower immediately after I reach home and before I interact with my family members or touch any surface at home.

What has kept you going during this period?
SGT 2 Colvin: Being able to take part in the national effort against COVID-19 gives me immense motivation to do my best. I’m proud to be given this opportunity to contribute. 

SSGT Abdul Rahman: I believe we have to take on this vital role of keeping the COVID-19 situation under control. When I was offered the opportunity to serve on the frontline, it felt like a calling; a way for me to contribute meaningfully to Singapore, both as a Singaporean and a Home Team officer.

Thanks to our dedicated Home Team Guardians for keeping Singapore safe and secure. Don’t forget to check out:
- One Home Team: Responding to COVID-19 (Part 1)
- One Home Team: Responding to COVID-19 (Part 2)
- One Home Team: Responding to COVID-19 (Part 3)
- One Home Team: Responding to COVID-19 (Part 4)
- One Home Team: Responding to COVID-19 (Part 5)
One Home Team: Responding to COVID-19 (Part 7)
© 2019 Ministry of Home Affairs, Singapore. All Rights Reserved.

  1. by Soo Jun Xiang
  2. 11 June 2020
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