SINGAPORE - The sound of gunshots pierces through the midday air, moments before two masked gunmen storm into a heartland coffee shop.
Chaos ensues as people scramble to escape. Five people who are slow to do so are held hostage at gunpoint by their assailants.
A man who manages to get out, hides safely behind a pillar and sends an SMS to the police at 71999.
Staged scenarios similar to this will play out in neighbourhoods across the island, starting in Chong Pang on Saturday (May 28) and Jurong Spring on Sunday, as Singapore ramps up public education efforts against terrorism.
The public will be able watch these staged scenarios and learn how they can "Run, Hide, Tell" - as advised by the police - in the event of a terrorist attack like the one in the coffee shop scenario.
"The key now is to go out and sensitise the public, as people tend to take security for granted," said deputy assistant commissioner of police Pauline Yee, who heads the community partnership department.
"We hope to show the public the kind of scenarios you can expect in a terrorist attack and also demonstrate the skills that we are training them in," she added.
The staged scenarios are part of a revamped Emergency Preparedness (EP) Day event, which also features training in skills such as first-aid, a mobile exhibition and community skit.
The EP Day event will be piloted in six constituencies across Singapore over the next few months. It is expected to reach all 89 constituencies in the next two years.
This is the first time that the event started in 2003 is focusing on counter-terrorism. Previously, EP Days would focus on initiatives such as crime prevention and fire safety.
At the event, the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) will also teach residents how common items can be used to stop excessive bleeding from gunshot wounds.
"It has been proven that bleeding is one of the leading causes of death in a traumatic situation. If the bleeding is severe, the person can die in as short as three minutes," said SCDF's Chief Medical Officer Ng Yih Yng.
Those caught in a terror attack should find a safe place to hide, before conducting improvised first aid on the casualties, he advised.
For instance, a towel or T-shirt can be used to press directly on a wound to prevent excessive blood loss and increase the chances of survival before the arrival of the SCDF.
"In the case of active bleeding on the limbs, the other option would be to tie the area just above it with a belt or necktie," he added.
The revamped EP Day comes under the SG Secure movement announced two months ago (mar), which aims to sensitise, organise and train Singaporeans to protect themselves from a terrorist attack.
The pioneer batch of police community engagement (CE) officers under the movement have started daily home and community visits to tell residents about EP Day and SG Secure. Some 1,500 operationally ready national serviceman and more than 200 full-time national servicemen will be trained and deployed under this new vocation in the next two years.
The Chong Pang EP Day will be held on Saturday (May 28) at the Chong Pang City Amphitheatre from 9am to noon. The Jurong Spring EP Day will be held on Sunday (May 29) at the open space in front of Block 501, Jurong West Street 51, from 9am to 11.30am.