Wilfred Lim

Commander, Central Fire Station, SCDF
Wilfred graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical Engineering) at National University of Singapore (NUS).

My job

As the Commander of Singapore’s oldest fire station, I play several roles each day. Firstly, I have to ensure that all the emergency responders under my charge are proficient, well-equipped and confident in managing daily fire, medical and rescue incidents. Secondly, having about 200 personnel entrusted to my care, I must be a people-developer and look into the welfare and staff development needs of all regulars and NSFs. Thirdly, I have to look at the big picture and strategic direction of the station in terms of targets like innovation projects, community outreach and enhancing the SCDF’s corporate profile.

How I got my job

In 2004 when I was serving NS in the army, I was offered the Local Merit Scholarship (LMS) by the Ministry of Home Affairs. I attended a couple of interviews to decide which Home Team Department I would be assigned to, and both the panel and I agreed that the SCDF was a good fit for me – I get to interact with members of the public, put my innovative and scientific spirit to good application, and even have a hand in formulating policies that would impact the lives of others.  

The highs and lows

Every day is different; no amount of planning and deliberate decisions will remove the element of surprise in daily frontline operations, administrative and logistical problem-solving. It may be challenging but it also gives me the constant supply of adrenaline to get through each day. 

My happiest moment at work

I’m happiest when my staff take my advice and apply it to their own ideas, delivering a totally unexpected and ingenious product as a result of it. An example would be our involvement in the production of SG Secure video on Improvised First Aid Skills, led by the SCDF in-house media team. It started with a simple conversation with my staff; nothing to do with projects or innovation or even terrorism. Their contributions really humble me.

Some advice

Anyone with an interest to develop good leadership qualities, organisational and planning skills, and is passionate about improving the safety and security of our citizens should definitely consider this job. I believe that if you have what it takes, then all you need is to be unabashed and make it known. If you are interested in an undergraduate scholarship, you can start by applying at the PSC Gateway online portal sometime between September and March.