Could you share more about yourself and how you got to know of the HOME Award back when you were still studying?
I became a HOME Award recipient (SCDF) in 2010 while I was pursuing a diploma in Business Studies in Ngee Ann Polytechnic. I was not aware of this HOME award scheme until I received a brochure of it through mail.
What is your childhood dream? Is it different from what you are doing now (i.e. a Home Team Officer)?
Being in a uniformed service was always my dream and ambition when I was younger. However, I was keener on being a policeman at that point of time as I admired the policemen that I saw on television programmes. It was after I was introduced to this scheme that I read up more and did some research on SCDF and realised that it might suit me better to be a lifesaver.
Why did you choose to apply for the HOME Award? Was there any reason for it, such as the passion to be a Home Team Officer?
For me, applying for the HOME award wasn’t much of a difficult decision as being in a uniformed service has been a dream since I was young. My dilemma was choosing between the life saving force and the police. In the end, I picked SCDF as I felt that saving lives would definitely be one of the more meaningful jobs.
How did you feel when you received the news that you were one of the HOME Awardees? Was it a very proud moment for both you and your family?
Applying for the HOME Award was one of the biggest decisions that I made at the age of 17. I did not have much faith that I would get it when I applied for it. So when I was informed that I was one of the few recipients, I was thrilled. It was almost like a dream come true and of course, my parents were very proud of me. As for me, it is one of my biggest achievements that I am proud to have.
Is your course of study relevant to your line of work?
My course of study was something that I chose out of interest, as having my business is also something that I hope to achieve one day. However, setting up a café is an ongoing, long term goal. For now, I just wish to concentrate on my career with the SCDF. In the future, I might branch out to start a business of my own. Still, the skills I have acquired from the various aspects of my course of study have come in useful in my months with the SCDF.
Are there any people who have inspired you and to whom you are grateful, i.e. parents, teachers, mentor at work etc?
I would say that my superiors at work, senior section commanders, Deputy Rota Commander (DRC), Rota Commander (RC) and my Commander Fire Station (CFS) are all very encouraging and have guided me a lot. I would also like to thank Major Simon Ho who has been checking up on me every now and then when he has the chance. He has also given me valuable advice which has come in handy.
How do you find work thus far? Were there any poignant moments or encounters that have inspired you?
Being part of the SCDF, protecting property and saving lives are what we do on a daily routine. Being able to do my part in keeping my homeland safe is something that I am very proud of. Having to standby for a 24-hour shift may be tedious but I am pleased to have such a meaningful career.
I remember a fire incident at Westlake where a bungalow was engulfed by fire and everything inside was burning. The owner was at a loss as all his possessions were inside the burning house and everything that he worked hard for was in flames. We tried hard to salvage anything we could but everything in there was badly damaged by the fire. The owner was gutted and this made me more determined to work harder so as to prevent this kind of incident from happening to somebody else.
What do your peers or family members think about you working as a Home Team Officer?
My family members were very proud of me being part of the SCDF and even encouraged me to think of making it my long-term career. They feel that the career in SCDF is not only a stable one but also most importantly, a meaningful one. They are also concerned about my safety but understand that every uniformed group service has its risks.
Could you tell me how the HOME Award has made a change in your life?
To me, the HOME Award is a very rewarding scheme to students who have an interest in a career with the Home Team. For me, being a uniformed officer was always a dream and the HOME Award made it possible for me to embark on my career even before I graduated. Attachments during the term breaks were very beneficial as we got to have a first-hand experience of what our career was going to be like in the future.
Being part of the SCDF has also inspired me more. In this line of work, you turn up for emergency cases where people are in need, and your actions really do matter. Be it a road traffic accident, a suicide case, or a fire, it makes a difference to the people. Thus, I feel even more so that this is a very meaningful job.
Would you continue staying with the Home Team after your bond ends?
I feel that a career in the Home Team is a very fulfilling one, which gives me a sense of satisfaction at the end of the day. It also offers many career opportunities and advancements. I will definitely stay here in the Home Team after my bond ends and look to advance further. I may even branch out to a different Home Team agency. Police investigation work is something that I am also interested in, so I can look into that and maybe try it out in the future.
What is one advice you have for your fellow juniors who want to apply for the HOME Awards?
I would advise them to apply for the HOME Award only if they are interested in a career with the Home Team and not just for the monetary benefits. It is also important to research on each of the Home Team agencies and be very certain that it is what they want to do in the future.