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SCDF’s fallen hero CPT Kenneth Tay cremated, remembered for his ultimate sacrifice to Singapore

Monday morning witnessed a solemn ceremonial funeral for SCDF officer Captain Kenneth Tay Xue Qin, who tragically perished battling a ship fire on 16 May. The Last Post bugle call marked his farewell, signifying the end of his duty, followed by a poignant minute of silence.



SINGAPORE: On Monday morning (20 May), a ceremonial funeral was held for Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) officer Captain Kenneth Tay Xue Qin, who tragically passed away while fighting a fire on a ship last week.

SCDF officers saluted as the hearse carrying CPT Tay’s body arrived at the Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery around 9:15 am, following a procession from Telok Blangah, where his wake was held.

Draped with a State Flag, CPT Tay’s casket was transferred to a carriage towed by a Light Fire Attack Vehicle or Red Rhino.

Accompanied by the Singapore Police Force band, the ceremonial funeral procession towards the crematorium commenced.

The Red Rhino, adorned with black ribbons, followed behind the band, with an escort party including officers from the Marine Division.

Along the path towards the crematorium, approximately 150 officers from various SCDF divisions lined up, saluting as the carriage passed by.

CPT Tay’s colleagues and coursemates, serving as pallbearers, bid their final respects during the procession.

SCDF Commissioner Eric Yap then solemnly presented the state flag and SCDF peak cap to CPT Tay’s parents, Mr Tay Teck Kian and Mrs Tay Yuk Moi.

Following Chinese customs, which discourage older family members from seeing off the young, his parents did not observe the cremation.

The ceremony concluded with a bugle call from the SPF Band, marking the end of CPT Tay’s national duty.

A minute of silence followed, honouring his ultimate sacrifice before he was cremated.

Before this solemn moment, symbolic of his life and service, CPT Tay’s shirt, blue jeans, and boots were placed atop his casket.

Approximately 200 officers attended the ceremonial funeral, according to SCDF, underscoring CPT Tay’s “ultimate sacrifice in the service of the nation.”

In its statement, SCDF expressed its enduring commitment to remembering and honouring the memory of their fallen comrade who exemplified selflessness by putting his life before others in service of the nation.

“We remain committed towards giving our utmost in our lifesaving mission of protecting and saving lives and properties, as a poignant reminder of the unwavering courage and dedication exemplified by CPT Kenneth.”

Earlier on Monday morning, SCDF officers paid tribute to CPT Tay with a ceremonial last call.

This “last fire call” resonated across SCDF’s 23 fire stations, including its headquarters, division headquarters, and Civil Defence Academy. A minute of silence followed, observed not only at these stations but also across various units on the island.

At SCDF headquarters, Commissioner Eric Yap delivered a heartfelt speech, extending condolences to CPT Tay’s family, friends, and loved ones.

Commissioner Yap emphasized CPT Tay’s selflessness, professionalism, and dedication, highlighting his roles as a para-counsellor and career advocate within the SCDF, which reflected his deep commitment to the life-saving force.

He stressed the importance of SCDF and its officers like CPT Tay in providing vital assistance during emergencies, often critical in life-or-death situations.

SCDF: CPT Kenneth Tay excelled in fitness and proficiency tests

At 12:15 a.m. on 16 May, SCDF was alerted to a fire on board the tanker. Firefighters rushed from West Coast Marine Fire Station to tackle the fire incident at about 1.15 am.

During the firefighting operation, the 30-year-old was in the “smoke-logged” engine room with another firefighter at about 3:30 a.m., both wearing personal protective equipment.

While one firefighter aimed his water jet at the fire source, CPT Kenneth scanned for hot spots with a thermal imager. Post-incident analysis of body-worn camera footage revealed CPT Kenneth’s distress around 3:53 a.m.

After CPT Tay failed to respond, a firefighter searched for him. Another team found him unconscious at 4:00 a.m.

SCDF noted that CPT Kenneth was conscious but unwell, prompting the immediate evacuation.

However, he lost consciousness while being transported to the open deck on a stretcher.

CPR was administered on the deck and throughout the evacuation to Pasir Panjang Ferry Terminal via an SCDF vessel.

Upon arrival at the terminal, an ambulance received CPT Tay at 5:28 a.m., with CPR efforts continuing en route to the National University Hospital. Tragically, he was pronounced dead at the hospital.

According to the SCDF, CPT Kenneth Tay joined SCDF as a regular officer in December 2017, completing training in the Rota Commander Course (RCC) and serving as a rota commander until November 2020.

He then became a Public Education Officer. Expressing interest in marine firefighting, he completed the Marine Firefighting Specialist Course in May 2022 and was posted as a Marine Rota Commander in January 2023.

Throughout his training, he excelled, achieving top scores in fitness and proficiency tests.

SCDF said during RCC, CPT Kenneth attained ‘Gold’ standard for his Individual Physical Proficiency Test (IPPT), and an ‘A’ in Breathing Apparatus Proficiency Test (BAPT).

SCDF emphasized the crucial role of Rota Commanders in emergency response, highlighting the rigorous training all frontline officers undergo at the Civil Defence Academy and Home Team Tactical Centre.

In December 2022, a 19-year-old full-time national serviceman (NSF) died during a firefighting operation at a Henderson Road flat.

Sergeant 1 (SGT1) Edward H Go, who was reportedly left alone to fight the fire, suffocated to death after his air cylinder was depleted.

He was the first firefighter to die in the line of duty during an SCDF operation.

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So fast cremated and done with? Why no autopsy to determine the cause of death? Or they knew there was a breach in procedure(s) resulting in the unfortunate death, cannot tell the public?

So MANY untimely and inexplicable fatalities involving young men and our health minister Ong Yee Kung isn’t ordering any investigation. The numbers of such cases are such that you can rule out happenstance or coincidence etc …

That article whose link caused my previous comment to “disappear” listed Singapore as one of two highly covid19 vaccinated countries with excess fatalities ie: more than the usual number of people DYING from “normal” causes (which presumably includes and accounts for accidents suicides etc …).

His lying in should be at Kranji Memorial, since he served with distinguishness and ultimate sacrifice. In fact shd ranked him above KY and/or Loong man.