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Counter-terrorism exercise first held in Singapore hotel, Singapore News & Top Stories

SINGAPORE – Three & # 39; shooters & # 39; On Friday (May 17), they rushed into the lobby of Crowne Plaza Changi and aimed their guns at tourists and hotel staff.

And just like dominoes, bodies fell one by one while the shooters sprayed bullets in all directions.

Two of the shooters then entered the bar upstairs, while the remaining one walked to the ballroom, shooting at everyone who was still standing.

But before they get more & # 39; chaos & # 39; cause, Singapore Police (SPF) and Gurkha contingent officers brought them down in less than five minutes.

The shootout was part of Exercise Heartbeat, which simulates terrorist attacks. The latest iteration is the first time the exercise, organized by the SPF and the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), took place in a hotel.

SPF and MOM have worked closely with hotel industry partners in Singapore to improve their preparedness and security measures against security threats.

The exercise against terrorism emphasizes the importance of a robust emergency plan for hotels against terrorist threats, in light of the recent hotel and church attacks in Sri Lanka that took place on Easter Sunday last month.

A series of bombs exploded in the country on April 21, killing 258 people and injuring at least 500 people.

Although Singapore has not experienced an attack, MP Christopher De Souza, who observed the exercise, said it is of the utmost importance that Singaporeans remain vigilant.

"Events in Sri Lanka made us realize that we must be vigilant and respond as one community."

"We must diligently prepare, respond quickly and show solidarity with our community after every attack," said de Souza, who is also the chairman of the parliamentary committee on home affairs and government law.

Exercise Heartbeat, started in 2009, has been performed throughout the island in public locations such as the Esplanade, the National Library and Clarke Quay.

In the Friday exercise, about 50 staff from the SPF, the Singapore Civil Defense Force (SCDF) and the hotel were involved.

SPF officers worked with their SCDF counterparts and assisted them in evacuating victims in the event of further attacks.

The hotel staff also helped provide first aid to victims, as part of established risk management processes and frameworks implemented at the hotel.

Bruno Cristol, 55, general manager of Crowne Plaza Changi Airport, said: "Participation in this exercise raises our level of emergency preparedness.

"The safety of our guests and staff is our first priority."

The hotel uses resources from the SGSecure @ Workplaces program to, among other things, train its staff to be vigilant against the terror threat and familiar with the emergency procedures.

MOM encourages companies to join the SGSecure @ Workplaces program and increase their workplace preparedness in response to terrorist threats.

Companies also need to draw up continuity plans to get their activities back to normal and quickly return to normal, the ministry said.

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