Retired SCDF Firefighter Encik Agayle Passes Away
Not everyone leaves an indelible mark on the people they’ve worked with. The late Mohd Salleh Ali, better known as Encik Agayle, did.
The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) veteran trained generations of firefighters throughout a career spanning over 40 years.
When news of his passing emerged today (26 Jan), it was thus unsurprising that many penned heartfelt tributes for him.
Veteran SCDF fireman & trainer Encik Agayle passes away
On Thursday (26 Jan), several Facebook posts circulated, announcing the passing of SWO (RET) Mohd Salleh Ali or Encik Agayle.
While the cause of death was not revealed, the OP shared that the deceased’s body was at Sengkang General Hospital this evening.
Those who knew the late Encik Agayle were invited to visit his family to send their condolences.
Spent more than 40 years as a fireman & trainer
According to the SCDF, Encik Agayle spent more than 40 years of his life as a firefighter and trainer.
He first joined the Singapore Fire Brigade at the age of 17 in September 1975 as a recruit.
The young man apparently quit school to find a job and help his father, a messenger at the Port of Singapore Authority, support their family of eight.
Encik Agayle’s decorated career includes milestones such as joining the Rescue Squad, an elite team of the Singapore Fire Service and predecessor to the SCDF’s Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (DART).
Although the three-month training coincided with Ramadan, it did not stop him from completing the course.
Encik Agayle also joined the specialist Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Task Force set up in 1987, which consisted of only the best firefighters.
Part of operations tackling major incidents in Singapore
As one of SCDF’s most experienced firefighters, Encik Agayle had to tackle many major operations over the years.
This includes the fire at Pulau Bukom oil refinery back in 1981, which he labelled as one of the biggest he had ever seen.
“My crew and I were afraid, very afraid but it was something that we just had to do and do it right,” he said.
Encik Agayle was also part of the relief crew for the infamous Spyros incident in 1978.
Involving the explosion of the fuel tank of a ship that was stationed at Jurong shipyard, it killed 76 with many burning to death.
“Being there at the scene was such a heart-wrenching experience for me,” he shared. “Frankly, it was my first encounter with mass fatality.”
To find out more about the late Encik Agayle’s time in service, you may read his interview with the SCDF here and here.
Tributes pour in for veteran fireman
With his decades of service, Encik Agayle’s passing was clearly felt in the community.
Many who knew him penned heartfelt tributes on Facebook, expressing the respect they had for him as a fireman.
One such individual shared that while notoriously strict during training, Encik Agayle ensured that each of his trainees was ready for the dangers of firefighting.
“He is so much loved by his subordinates, trainees, as well as officers and many others who have crossed paths with him,” the OP said. “He has touched many lives, including mine.”
The official account for the fire station at Sembawang also dedicated a post to him, sharing their condolences.
MS News offers our sincere condolences to Encik Agayle’s family and friends. While we wish them strength to overcome this loss, we also hope they’ll find comfort in knowing that many will remember the deceased fondly.
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Featured image adapted from Rescue 995.
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