COI on the death of full-time NSF CFC Dave Lee

Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said in Parliament on Monday (6 Aug) that inadequate on-site casualty management and delayed evacuation to the medical centre were the likely reasons for CFC Dave Lee succumbing to this heat stroke injuries. The Minister was presenting the report from the Committee of Inquiry (COI).

Lapses on the day before his heat-stroke

A day before his heat stroke, CFC Lee was taking part in a group exercise where soldiers had to run six 400m laps at a common pace. Between each lap, the rest timing was 1 minute, which was 45 seconds shorter than what was stipulated in the training plan.

“These deviations were a breach of training safety regulations,” noted the COI.

Later that night, the entire platoon was given out collective punishment as they had used their mobile phones after lights-out despite repeated warnings. At around 9.40pm, the entire platoon was told to assemble in their Number 4 uniform and assault bags.

Punishment given out to them came in the form of physical exercises. This included bear crawls, sprints, leopard crawls, push-ups and crunches. Commanders had also poured water over the troopers from their water bottles and jerry cans.

The entire punishment session lasted for about 30 to 45 minutes and ended with the trainees reciting the Guards Creed a few times while in a high kneel position. Minister Ng said that “the commanders did not seek prior approval for the conduct of this informal punishment or inform their superiors after the punishment”.

Eventually, at about 10.25pm, the trainees were sent back to wash-up and lights were turned off at 10.45pm. Such punishment contributed to the trainees having 6 hours and 15 minutes of sleep, which is less than the stipulated 7 hours.

Dr. Ng acknowledged that “less sleep could be one of the factors which caused CFC Lee to have more fatigue before participating in the fast march.”

Lapses on the day of heat-stroke

On the day of CFC Dave Lee’s heat stroke, there were also several lapses on how CFC Dave Lee’s medical response was administered.

At the onset of symptoms, his actual temperature was not taken even as his skin felt cold to the touch. Instead, his equipment and uniform were removed while water and oxygen were given to him.

Dr Ng said that the “on-site cooling measures administered were inadequate, including the failure to administer an on-site IV drip, the improper placement of ice packs, and the improper use of a ground sheet”.

“Full body cooling should have been instituted as soon as possible, and within 30 minutes of presentation of signs and symptoms.”

More importantly, there was a “significant gap” of time between the onset of symptoms and his arrival at the medical centre. This was because “the persons attending to CFC Lee mistook his signs and symptoms as due to physical exhaustion”.

Dr. Ng added that there were several calls for CFC Lee to be evacuated, but these calls were either “not heard or not heeded”.

The COI opined “that the significant delay from time of symptoms to evacuation could have escalated the heat injury to a heat stroke”

 

*Facebook post by Petition to Reduce National Service.

 

 

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23 Responses to “COI on the death of full-time NSF CFC Dave Lee”

  • NS is National Slaves:

    Parents, don’t trust them to take care of our sons. You die your business. So better tell your sons to be smart and take care of themselves instead. If your son comes out of army alive or without serious injuries, it’s not because they’ve proper rules that make sure our sons are not harmed but because we’re ‘heng’! Rules are laid down to protect the backsides of those at the top. Those sitting comfortably up there never bother to check if rules are being followed until life is lost.

    My son once had high fever at 39+ degrees but still had to queue long hrs past midnite to see the MO after his training. What’s more disappointing was the MO gave a tida papa attitude. High fever still cannot rest. Assigned ‘light’ duties for next day but ended up doing all the sai kang. If a sick person is not allowed to rest, how to recover? If anything serious happens then what’s the point of the COI report?

    Our sons are supposed to be trained to be soldiers but ended up being treated worse than prisoners.

    Ben Davis, this is a message to you. Migrate! Don’t ruin your life serving NS here. You’ll never know if you’ll break a limb or even come out alive as the next victim could be you.

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  • The Fallen:

    It is not high time for MINDEAF to built a monument to all those that have died during NS.

    It is not high time for them to finally come clean on the actual number of deaths since NS was implemented.

    We spend millions every year on the brainwashing NDP; but dare not bring ourselves to honour the fallen.
    Perhaps we can have Patrick Tan, Puthuchaery and Khaw chair a NS committee to honour the Fallen.

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  • Irene Vanessa Wan Si Hung:

    Some people got carried away with the tekan sessions. SAF always teat sick people as malingerers. Light duties mean carrying heavy cupboards. Makes any sense?

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  • opposition dude:

    Seems like SAF hasn’t changed one bit since I ORD’ed. Lapses here, there and everywhere indeed.

    Punishment is one thing, overdoing it is another. Alas, it’s always the siao on ones who breach SOPs. But this will never be resolved because it’s NSFs who are the sergeants and officers repeating the same shit over and over. When you have young inexperienced men only serving for 2 years is when they have a devil may care attitude leading to deaths. It also shows that the SAF has a severe lack of regulars.

    And let’s be frank, who the hell would have an IV drip out in the field? Not unless you have a bloody ambulance following you that’s for sure!

    And the excuse of a significant gap of time between the onset of symptoms and his arrival at the medical centre is pure bullshit. If someone is already having ice packs placed on him do you call that heat exhaustion or physical exhaustion?

    As usual, heck care attitude of the SAF leading to unnecessary fatalities.

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  • patriot of Temesak:

    Singapore Don’t NEED NS “Today”…a form of cheap labour and excuse to bring in FT

    A Professional Arm & Police Force of 30,000-20,000 well PAID is enough to keep Singapore safe and in Orderly Control…this, in turn, will release much-needed labour and well educated young men into the market and workforce.

    If the Powers-that-be can recruit Gurkhas to guard them why can’t we do LIKEWISE should we need MORE…similarly Brunie is doing JUST THAT!!!

    Stop the BullShit and Lies to keep a Husband & Wife in a world of Money NEVER enough but Billions safely Lock away for themselves

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  • AGAIN ??:

    Last time safety regulations stated 2, they threw in 6 !!!

    Punishment for disobeying orders ? – a delayed promotion.

    Now again ??

    “the spurs are not stuck into the hide” ?

    “These deviations were a breach of training safety regulations,” noted the COI.

    ” “the commanders did not seek prior approval for the conduct of this informal punishment or inform their superiors after the punishment”.

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  • Remove Section 14:

    during peacetime and instate it only when parliament declared a state of emergency or war.

    During peacetime, no one should be able to cite section 14 as a defence again civil litigation.

    If Mindef thinks their people is doing the right thing during peacetime training, then let Mindef defend their people in a open civil court.

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  • Sesame Street:

    cock commanders and cock medics! 42′C upon reaching Bedok Camp medical ctr!

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  • Dr. Chan:

    Remember who to vote for next GE if you want NS abolished. Also, to end the fake scholar to paper general to minister ‘white horse’ scheme.

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  • Sad state of affairs:

    Stop abusing our SG SONS!
    those cruel officers should get a taste of their own medicine–put them thro the same punishment treatment they put those poor young men thro.
    Dont waste the courts time!

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  • Throw Six Instead Of Two:

    Last time the Platoon Commander threw six smoke grenades instead of two according to the safety instruction manual resulting in the death of Private Dominic Lee, the PC waS PUNISHED BY A DELAYED PROMOTION.

    If its Dr Goh Keng Swee time, the PC would surely have been dismissed and jailed for causing the death of a soldier as he was irresponsible not to follow safety regulation. How dare he expects a delayed promotion ?

    Our Defense Minister Dr Ng has been too lenient and tried to cover up for the fatal mistake of its officer. No wonder morale is very low now in the SAF.

    At least the SCDF is moving in the right direction.

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  • Merobok:

    The culture of vindictiveness came since NS was introduced. It was not by chance but instituted thinking it would instil discipline? ..but in reality it would create a dislike of the sergeants and officers who practise it.This is dangerous during a war!
    What if a son of a Minister was involved? Would the aftermath be the same?
    Again, look at the medical officers in the camps…are they there to practise in accordance to their medical code or such to “tan chiak” and impose vindictiveness again?

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  • another:

    One of the hallmarks of a systemic unethical organisation is the failure to hold wrongdoers responsible for their actions and as well the lack of strong pUnishment that fits the crime.

    Because of the above, unethical conduct is systemically guaranteed. That is in simple terms: NS men will continue to die in the future.

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  • Bobo:

    NS salary can not be measured by dollars and cents. These idiots voted for idiots to destroy own life. Can’t be helped. Draw millions of $s salary yet want to KPKB not enough. Leeches and parasites will never leave a body when idiots kept feeding them unconditionally.

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  • Remove Section 14:

    during peacetime and instate it only when parliament declared a state of emergency or war.

    During peacetime, all training just follow established safety guidelines, no need to cite section 14 as a defence again civil litigation.

    Cruel officers are cruel because they themselves were punished cruelly by their officers when they were in training. They survived the cruel punishment and thought other should be able to take it too.

    Don’t waste time, just charge a few in a civil open court, the rest will listen up.

    Sad state of affairs:
    Stop abusing our SG SONS!
    those cruel officers should get a taste of their own medicine–put them thro the same punishment treatment they put those poor young men thro.
    Dont waste the courts time!

    GD Star Rating
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  • Bystander:

    This is how Mindef and PAP treat our precious sons who dun belong to Govt related elitist parents.
    Remember whom to vote for next GE, vote for United Opposition fronted by Tan Cheng Bok.

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  • Leepard nvr changes its spots:

    They haven’t change a single bit.

    After Dave’s incident, they pretended a bit. After a while, it’s back to the SAF norm yet again.

    opposition dude:
    Seems like SAF hasn’t changed one bit since I ORD’ed.

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  • Tatman:

    They are MURDERERS!! period!!!

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  • patriot of Temesak:

    Tatman:
    They are MURDERERS!! period!!!

    TOTALLY AGREE, bro!!! First, they Murdered the UNBORN since 1974 to the TUNE of almost 2,000,000 at last COUNT 2016 with the LOWEST abortion performed +-30,000 Gleefully Headlined in the Shitty Times that includes an Editorial GLORIFYING this Evil Deed perpetuated by a Bastard now DEAD!!! through LEEgal Abortion…

    NOW NS Leegal MURDER???

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  • LIONS:

    COMMANDERS?
    WHO SHOULD BE CALLED A commander?
    a bully,an elitist,a jester who thinks his men are mere playthings?

    wtf is the army for?
    much like what is the SPF for?

    it all boils down to WHAT ARE THE GAHMEN FOR???!

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  • Just Remove Section 14:

    during peacetime.

    All training simply follow guidelines. No need Section 14.

    If commanders want to be “a bully,an elitist,a jester who thinks his men are mere playthings”, so be it.

    But face up to any consequences and be man enough to stand and defend your actions in an open civil court”.

    Don’t use rank to act hero but when something goes wrong, cower like a bapok behind Section 14.

    LIONS:
    COMMANDERS?
    WHO SHOULD BE CALLED A commander?
    a bully,an elitist,a jester who thinks his men are mere playthings?

    wtf is the army for?
    much like what is the SPF for?

    it all boils down to WHAT ARE THE GAHMEN FOR???!

    GD Star Rating
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  • Just Another COI?:

    Hopefully the poor NSF medic won’t be made a scapegoat!

    It all boils down to Military Discipline practised by the top man to the lowest rank.

    If there is genuine concern or care for Soldiers, perhaps this sad case
    would have been prevented.

    Very sad indeed…..

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  • We are NOT the US Navy:

    Don’t be too hopeful.

    Just Another COI?:
    Hopefully the poor NSF medic won’t be made a scapegoat

    It all boils down to Military Discipline practised by the top man to the lowest rank.

    If there is genuine concern or care for Soldiers, perhaps this sad case
    would have been prevented.

    Very sad indeed…..

    “”Navigating a ship in a shipping channel is a manual operation. It comes down to watch attention and awareness. It’s a training procedure issue and a watch qualification issue,”"

    Yet

    “Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin has been relieved of his duty as the commander of the US 7th Fleet, based in Yokosuka, Japan, according to the Navy.
    This follows an incident Monday in which the guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain collided with a merchant ship.”

    https://edition.cnn.com/2017/08/22/politics/uss-mccain-7th-fleet-commander-dismissal/index.html

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