Chia Shang Yi
Commander, Marina Bay Fire Station
Local Merit Scholarship
Bachelor in Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering
Nanyang Technology University
The Commander manages the main function of the station of responding to firefighting, rescue, and HazMat (hazardous materials) operations, including the monitoring, assessment, and mitigation of reported incidents.
Shang Yi leads 80 personnel under her charge, and explains that gender is not an issue in the Force. "Equal opportunities are given to all and your achievements depend solely on your capabilities". Career progression is also dynamic in SCDF. A range of jobs in various departments, such as the Fire Investigation Unit, Fire Safety and Shelter, and Public Affairs, is available after a training phase of seven months to become a Rota Commander. "You have choices; it is based on your strengths and experience, which could include your course of study and also assessment given during the foundational posting as a Rota Commander."
At SCDF, officers are given many exciting opportunities for
development and experience, such as overseas study trips, dealings
with external agencies, and enhancement of knowledge and
expertise on hazardous materials.
"I had the chance to travel to Norway to attend the Environment Emergency Forum, which I gained a lot of insights from. I am also involved in an innovative project by SCDF, the Red Rhino Robot (3R), which is a new portable firefighting robot that will reduce the risks and manpower required in cases of fires." The Commander sees technology as the driver for the future of emergency services that will open many doors and innovate the work that SCDF does.
Her role is not short of memorable and meaningful moments where as a Commander, she has the privilege to impact lives directly. Recently, her whole team was on standby for the historic Kim-Trump Summit. "Another incident I will never forget was when we responded immediately to an emergency fire on the 48th floor of the Pinnacle@Duxton. We worked hard to extinguish the blaze, saving the people trapped inside, as well as the iconic building itself." This gives Shang Yi job satisfaction, as she affirms proudly that the Force stands on the same passion of coming together for the sake of Singapore and its people.
Looking back, Shang Yi is grateful for the SCDF scholarship, which groomed officers at each stage so that she may have the necessary competency and confidence to execute her roles well. "We had kind mentors who were very willing to share their experiences and guidance on how to overcome challenges." She encourages others who are interested in making a difference to join the Force, for it will be a career like no other and filled with many rewarding milestones.