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SCDF officer who died while firefighting was 30-year-old captain who excelled in fitness tests

SCDF officer who died in line of duty identified as 30-year-old captain

On Thursday (16 May), a Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) officer died while fighting a fire on board a marine vessel anchored in Singapore waters.

He has since been identified as 30-year-old Captain (CPT) Kenneth Tay Xue Qin.

Source: Kenneth Tay on Facebook

A ceremonial funeral will be held to honour him.

SCDF officer began encountering difficulties around 3.53am on 16 May

In a second press statement issued on 16 May, SCDF said that CPT Tay was paired with another firefighter in the vessel’s smoke-logged engine room at around 3.30am on Thursday.

Both firefighters were donned in personal protective equipment.

As mentioned earlier, while the firefighter was directing his water jet towards the source of the fire, CPT Tay moved around the engine room with a thermal imager to detect other hot spots.

Post-incident analysis of body-worn camera footage found that CPT Tay appeared to face difficulties around 3.53am.

Upon realising that CPT Tay did not respond to his calls, his partner tried searching for him at the part of the engine room where the firefighting was executed.

Another team of firefighters subsequently found CPT Tay lying at the bottom of a staircase, about 4m below. He appeared unwell and CPR was performed on him.

He subsequently lost consciousness when he was brought out from the engine room to the open deck on a stretcher.


They continued to perform CPR on him while he was being evacuated and while onroute to the hospital.

He arrived at National University Hospital around 5.50am and was pronounced dead there.

Was a stellar officer who excelled in fitness tests

SCDF noted that CPT Tay joined the force as a regular officer in December 2017, where he commenced 28 weeks of training in the Rota Commander Course (RCC).

Source: Kenneth Tay on Facebook

After completing RCC, he was posted to Changi Fire Station as a Rota Commander until November 2020.

Following this, he began his new role as a Public Education Officer at the 1st SCDF Division, where he showed keen interest in pursuing marine firefighting.

He completed the five-week Marine Firefighting Specialist Course (MFFSC) in May 2022.

In January 2023, he was posted to West Coast Marine Fire Station as a Marine Rota Commander.

Source: Google Maps

Throughout his time in SCDF, he also consistently excelled in fitness tests.

For example, during his RCC, he achieved ‘Gold’ on his Individual Physical Proficiency Test (IPPT).

He also clinched ‘Distinction’ for his Marine Firefighting Specialist Certification Test (MFSCT) during his MFFSC.

In 2023, he continued to maintain a ‘Gold’ standard for his IPPT.

Part of first response crew during the incident

During the incident on 16 May, CPT Tay was part of the first response crew.

All 19 crew members of the ship were safely accounted for.

“SCDF officers, like CPT Kenneth, put their lives on the line each time they enter the scene of a fire, in order to save others,” said the statement.

“SCDF is deeply saddened by the death of our colleague CPT Kenneth,” SCDF added. “We extend our deepest condolences to his family, and are providing them with our fullest support.”

MS News has reached out to SCDF for more information.

Also read: SCDF officer dies on 16 May while fighting fire on marine vessel

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Featured image adapted from Kenneth Tay on Facebook and Facebook


Amber Ang

Amber is an unapologetic fangirl and a huge Swiftie.

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