SINGAPORE - If a bomb goes off in any Concorde hotel within the Asia Pacific, Mr Karl Muir, general manager of Concorde Hotel Singapore, will be one of the first people to know.
This is as the crisis room at Concorde Hotel Singapore has recently been upgraded, and now serves as a central command centre integrated with its three other hotels in the region. It features live video feeds from Concorde hotels in other countries, allowing the one in Singapore to act as tactical headquarters.
Concorde won an award from the Singapore Police Force (SPF) and the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) for this new command centre, which is also equipped with crisis-ready equipment such as protective vests and helmets, bomb blankets, and Automated External Defibrillator units.
The National Safety and Security Watch Group (NSSWG) awards recognise the efforts of businesses to step up workplace safety and security. Concorde won an NSSWG Outstanding Individual Award.
"We have a duty of care, both to our staff and to our customers, so we need to be prepared for anything," said Mr Muir.
When he was managing a hotel in Auckland, New Zealand, in 1990, Mr Muir received a call from a person claiming to have planted a bomb in the two-storey hotel. He found the bomb in a maintenance closet and the police were called to dispose of the suspected bomb.
Concorde spent about $200,000 to set up the crisis room in 2012, and will spend more than $55,000 this year to upgrade its equipment. This includes replacing its 104 surveillance cameras with higher-resolution models and installing more new ones outside the building.
A total of 169 awards were given out in both individual and group categories. Another top winner was the Merlimau Safety and Security Watch Group cluster, which consists of five chemical and petroleum processing companies operating on Jurong Island. It won an NSSWG Outstanding Cluster Award for its new Electronic Security Access System.
At the award ceremony on Friday (June 24), Senior Minister of State for Home Affairs and National Development Desmond Lee said: "This fight against terrorism is not the Government's alone.
"We need every citizen in our city as well as all of you, in the business community, to be ever vigilant, to be equipped with skills to know how to respond in times of a terrorist attack."
The Safety and Security Watch Group scheme, originally known as the Security Watch Group scheme, was introduced in 2003, and is a means of networking for commercial entities to share information and best practices relating to safety and security.
The SPF and SCDF collaborate with watch groups made of clustered businesses and buildings operating in close proximity to combat crime and terrorism. Today, it has 1,378 members across 143 clusters.
Correction note: An earlier version of the story spelled Mr Karl Muir's surname as Miur. This has been corrected.