Forum: Processes in place to ensure emergency response team members can meet physical demands

We refer to the letter, “Refine emergency response team scheme to protect first-responders” (Dec 16).

A Company Emergency Response Team (Cert) comprises individuals who are trained in life-saving skills such as basic firefighting, first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and using an automated external defibrillator.

As Mr Benjamin Ng C.K. pointed out, the actions of a well-trained Cert in the initial phases of an emergency situation could prevent the escalation of fire or save someone from harm before the arrival of the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF).

SCDF does not stipulate an age limit to be a member of a Cert.

However, we have processes to ascertain whether an individual can meet the physical demands of the emergency response duties.

For higher-risk premises, such as those involved in handling hazardous chemicals, the Cert training involves the wearing of a breathing apparatus.

Before the training, individuals must complete a self-assessment checklist and fitness declaration.

If any health issues are indicated, the individual must undergo a medical screening. We do not enrol those who are not cleared in their medical screening.

Cert training is also required for lower-risk premises, but participants will not have to go through the self-assessment checklist and fitness declaration or medical screening.

Nevertheless, the senior management of the company should ensure that the members of their Cert are physically fit and competent to respond as needed during an emergency. Those who do not pass the training will not be enrolled as members of the Cert.

SCDF works with partners such as the Association of Company Emergency Response Teams Singapore (A-Certs) to enhance companies’ initial response to emergencies.

Platforms such as the annual A-Certs Seminar enable the sharing of feedback and best practices, including those which enhance the safety of the responders.

Since the implementation of the National Cert Standard in 2013, SCDF has been regularly reviewing the levels of competence and equipping required for Certs based on feedback from A-Certs and companies.

More details on the scheme can be found at the SCDF website.

For further clarifications, stakeholders can contact SCDF at and/or A-Certs at

Winson Cheung (Lieutenant-Colonel)
Senior Assistant Director, Fire Safety Department
Singapore Civil Defence Force

Bernard Lew
Association of Company Emergency Response Teams Singapore

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