Alerted to an explosion at Tanglin Mall, Mr Nurafiz Suhadi and four of his colleagues rushed over from their workplace at the adjoining Traders Hotel.
When the fire and life safety manager arrived at the switch room where the explosion had occurred, he saw people trying to crawl away. "I applied saline onto the burns to relieve the pain, and bring down the temperature," said the 33-year-old Mr Suhadi, who had previously been a firefighter for 10 years.
Five people - one of whom suffered burns to 18 per cent of his body - were injured in the January incident, believed to have been caused by an electrical problem in the switch room.
One of those hurt was Tanglin Mall's fire safety manager. And that made Mr Suhadi's presence at the scene even more crucial.
The rest of his colleagues from Traders Hotel's emergency response team helped to control the crowd at the shopping mall.
Their bravery was recognised on Thursday at the annual Hotel Security Awards. Hotel staff who showed honesty and vigilance were also recognised.
A total of 74 hotels received awards.
Senior Minister of State for Home Affairs Masagos Zulkifli, who was the guest-of-honour at the Furama Riverfront event, said that training and technology such as closed circuit cameras are two ways through which hotels facing a labour crunch can continue to remain vigilant against possible threats and emergencies.
He noted in his speech that Holiday Inn Singapore Atrium, which was one of 64 hotels to win the security excellence award, trains its employees to take on security duties.
The hotel's safety and security manager, Mr Muhammed Reza Kasuri Abdul Razak, said security training for the concierge staff started last year.
"One of the most pertinent issues in the security industry is manpower. So we thought out of the box and decided to integrate the roles," he told The Straits Times.
The hotel's general manager, Mr Sam Davies, said the initiative has resulted in higher productivity from employees, higher salaries for them, and more satisfied guests.
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