It's the real drill
Chong Pang residents experience a terrorist attack simulation as part of its Emergency Preparedness Day
For 20 years, all she cared about was getting her drink orders correct.
But on Wednesday, for the first time since Madam Lunna Lim took over a drink stall at Chong Pang hawker centre from her parents, she heard gunshots.
"The gunshots were so loud, I was shocked. I felt lost for a moment," she said.
Fortunately, it was just a terrorist attack simulation as part of Chong Pang's revamped Emergency Preparedness (EP) Day.
Madam Lim had been told about the 10am event in advance, but had forgotten about it.
The neighbourhood is the first of six constituencies the Ministry of Home Affairs and People's Association will reach out to, in line with the SG Secure national movement.
Soon after four shots were fired, two "gunmen" ran in, shouted at 20 coffee shop "patrons" and rounded up five of them as hostages.
In just two minutes, four officers from the Singapore Police Force's Emergency Response Team, who are specially trained with counter-assault skills, tore through the market and a firefight ensued.
After a "terrorist" was shot and the other pinned down and taken into custody, officers from the Singapore Civil Defence Force provided first aid to the "victims" and evacuated them. The exercise lasted 15 minutes.
This weekend, residents can take part in EP Days at Chong Pang and Jurong Spring.
Organising chairman of Jurong Spring EP day, Madam Nancy Low, 73, said: "Singapore is well protected, but that does not mean Singaporeans can let their guard down.
"We need to be aware that terror attacks can hit us whenever and wherever, so for everyone's safety, I urge residents to visit the exhibitions on the EP days and get basic training on how we can do that," she added.
Madam Lim was looking forward to the exhibition.
"It's good that the exhibitions are held in the heartlands. If it's out of the way, it might be hard for some of us to attend," she said.
"When I heard the gunshots, I didn't know what to do. If it happens for real, I'd like to be prepared.
"I want to do my part in protecting and contributing to the society. I'm willing to learn."
EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS DAYS
When: Saturday, 9am to noon
Where: Chong Pang City Amphitheatre
When: Sunday, 9am to 11.30am
Where: Open space in front of Block 501, Jurong West Street 51
Learn basic First Aid
Chong Pang is the first of six constituencies the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) will reach out to, presenting residents with a range of activities at the Emergency Preparedness Day.
These include an exhibition on community vigilance, skills training on basic first aid and a scenario drill designed around a terrorist attack in the heartlands.
There will also be community skits presented in a mix of languages including dialects.
MHA will partner schools, workplaces, the national service and community groups to develop or enhance programmes that will sensitise, train and mobilise different groups of Singaporeans.
National servicemen and full-time national service officers from the police force will form the pioneer batch of Community Engagement officers, trained to spot tell-tale indicators of suspicious activities and behaviour, and in community engagement.
Police said that this is expected to be rolled out in two years.
The Singapore Civil Defence Force operationally ready national servicemen Shelter Battalion has also been renamed the Public Shelter And Resilience Unit.
The officers from both agencies will conduct door-to-door visits to generate awareness and educate residents on the skills and knowledge that could help them in the event of a terrorist attack.