SINGAPORE: The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) on Wednesday (May 23) announced a series of measures to guard against ragging and unauthorised activities within the force.
The enhanced measures come after the death of an SCDF full-time national serviceman (NSF), who drowned in a fire station pump well during activities to celebrate his impending Operationally Ready Date (ORD).
A metal grating will now be installed across the opening of pump wells, which will be locked to prevent unauthorised access. Access to and use of the pump wells will be strictly controlled, said SCDF.
Officers who did not participate in unauthorised activities, but were found to have done nothing to stop or report them despite being aware of what was happening will also be punished.
"This sends a strong signal that such officers must also bear responsibility," said SCDF in a media release.
It added that feedback and monitoring channels will also be enhanced.
"Presently, fortnightly one-to-one interviews between NSFs and their supervisors are conducted during their first three months in a new unit," said SCDF.
"Moving forward, fortnightly interviews will also be held during the last three months of the NSF’s service, and conducted by senior SCDF officers who are not based at their same station.
"This ensures impartiality in the feedback process, and facilitates in reassuring the NSFs to bring up any issues of concern. Any case of unauthorised activities reported during these interviews will be immediately surfaced to SCDF senior management for necessary follow-up action."
SCDF said it will also introduce a dedicated staff feedback helpline on a 24/7 basis to support its existing whistle-blowing framework.
Minister for Home Affairs and Law K Shanmugam had said in Parliament last week that the SCDF and Home Team agencies have been tasked to relook the rules and how they are enforced, reiterating that there will be "zero tolerance" towards unauthorised activities.