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Recognising the Home Team’s Finest Trainers
Versatility, Innovation, Support – these three themes resonated during the Home Team Training Excellence Award Ceremony, held at the Home Team Academy on 10 January 2018.

“This award is a recognition of our efforts because behind every successful training session is a whole team… Without them I wouldn’t be here,” said WO2 Lim Han Kwang. PHOTO: Amni Amran

One of two recipients of the Home Team Trainer of the Year Award, Warrant Officer 2 (WO2) Lim Han Kwang is a Senior Instructor at the Civil Defence Academy’s Specialist Training Centre, where he specialises in Urban Search and Rescue (USAR).

The 43-year-old joined the training centre three years ago, after a three-year stint with the Singapore Civil Defence Force’s Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team. Besides USAR courses, his teaching portfolio ranges from foundation-level programmes for Secondary School National Civil Defence Cadet Corps cadets to USAR courses for professional responders from other countries.

“Sometimes [the students] even give me things to think about, things that I don’t usually consider when teaching adults.”

This means that WO2 Lim needs to be versatile in adjusting his training methods to his audience. “Secondary school children tend to be a bit more restless. They are very curious and they like to ask questions. This keeps them interested, and it’s good for them, and also for me,” said WO2 Lim. “When students question us, it shows that they are interested in our lessons. And when we answer their questions, we also share our experiences with them.”

When he gets a question that he doesn’t know the answer to, WO2 Lim is sure to find out and satisfy the students’ thirst for knowledge. “You’ll be amazed at the ideas young kids have. Some of their questions can be very innocent, but quite difficult to answer… sometimes they even give me things to think about, things that I don’t usually consider when teaching adults,” said WO2 Lim.

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Different methods, a shared common objective of saving lives: International firefighters during a recent visit to Jurong Fire Station. PHOTO: Lim Han Kwang

Learning from Our Cultural Differences

When he conducts classes for an international audience, WO2 Lim takes another approach. He recognises that different countries might do things in another way, and takes the opportunity to share various techniques and methods.

“When they come here, they already have several years of experience in their fields of rescue. So it becomes more of a sharing session,” explained WO2 Lim. “Like using a power saw, for example. We use it one way, but the Hong Kong Fire Services Department showed me another method of using the power saw to cut concrete.”

“I want to give credit to the 30 scientists behind me and the vetters who looked through all the materials, because I cannot come up with this alone,” said Mr Ansley Jones Goh, whose team comprised of officers from Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) and the Office of the Chief Science and Technology Officer (OCSTO). PHOTO: Amni Amran

Teaching Officers to Work Together

For Mr Ansley Jones Goh, whose team received the Home Team Training Unit of the Year Award, his team’s challenge was to develop a programme to train Home Team officers to handle Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear and Explosive (CBRNE) materials.

“Our earlier ‘science centre’ concept- the Global Terrorism Suite - worked well, however, there were shortcomings,” said the 37-year-old, a Principal Laboratory Manager at Office of the Chief Science and Technology Officer (OCSTO).

The Global Terrorism Suite was set up wit as a learning facility to develop awareness of the threats posed by Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Explosive agents through the senses of sight, smell and touch.

“The suite had limited space and we could not utilise technology to deliver training better,” he added.

“On the ground, when we attend to an emergency, it’s never about one hero – it’s about officers working together to defuse a problem.”

The opportunity came when we were given another area within the Protective Analytical and Assessment Facility (PAAF) located at Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) Pasir Panjang Scanning Station. This led to the birth of the Scientific Demonstration Suite (SDS), which allowed us to infuse technology and training pedagogies into our programmes.

“We used iPads to save wall space,” he said. “With iPads, we could allow trainees to go around to scan QR codes, to access additional interactive information.”

The use of iPads also provided the opportunity to include quizzes in the programme. Once these were introduced, Mr Goh noticed that trainees began working in teams to answer questions. “And that’s what we want because, on the ground, when we attend to an emergency, it’s never about one hero – it’s about officers working together to defuse a problem,” he said.

Home Team Trainers’ Badge

A total of 16 Awards were presented during the ceremony by Second Minister for Home Affairs Mrs Josephine Teo on 10 January 2018. These included two Home Team Trainer of the Year Awards, one Home Team Training Unit of the Year Award, nine Merit Home Team Training Unit of the Year Awards and four Merit Home Team Trainer of the Year Awards.

The Home Team Academy also introduced the Home Team Trainers’ Badge, a new skills badge scheme that recognises the proficiency, professionalism and commitment of Home Team Trainers.

The new badges are (from left) Master Trainer, Principal Trainer, Specialist Trainer and Trainer. They will be awarded to those who have acquired and demonstrated the required instructional competencies. GRAPHIC: HTA

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

  1. by Desmond Ang
  2. 12 January 2018
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