She had barely arrived home from a Bali holiday with her mother but once she got a call, Assistant Commissioner (AC) Julia Sng, 48, dropped her bags and returned to Changi Airport.
The commander of Immigration and Checkpoints Authority's (ICA) Airport Command was responding to last Tuesday's fire at Terminal 2, which prompted a five-hour shutdown of the terminal.
"Of course, we didn't have much sleep that night, but that is part and parcel of the job," said AC Sng, who joined the ICA in 1991 and has been with Airport Command for three years. She has about 1,000 officers under her charge, and her job involves overseeing checkpoint operations at Changi and Seletar airports.
AC Sng, who was one of the officers promoted yesterday, is also involved in the planning and preparation for Terminal 4.
"Working at one of Singapore's national icons (Changi Airport) has always been a dream of mine, and it is exciting being part of the airport action," she said.
AC Sng, who is married, said that one of the challenges of the job has been her sacrifices on time spent with family and friends. "Luckily, they are very understanding and know that there are times when I have to 'fly aeroplane' (meaning to stand them up) when duty calls," she added with a laugh.
AC Sng will be Senior Assistant Commissioner next month, and is the second woman to assume the rank in the ICA.
She said: "I feel honoured and humbled to be recognised, and it gives me an even greater sense of responsibility to my officers.
"People typically view law enforcement as a male-dominated sector, but I hope more female officers will be encouraged to take on this meaningful career."