On Assignment

All In A Day’s Work: No Tall Order

Teamwork makes the dream work. We speak to a CNB and an SCDF officer who recently saved a pregnant woman from height.
AIADW - No Tall Order
GRAPHIC: Phoebe Leow

In a recent anti-drug operation, a seven-month pregnant suspected drug abuser climbed out of her window and scaled down from the 11th floor to the eighth floor aircon ledge. She was subsequently rescued by SCDF officers and warded in hospital for observation.

It was a heart-wrenching scene for all involved – the suspected abuser, the unborn baby, the child left in the flat, and the officers, all except for the trafficker who had been profiting off her addiction.

The suspected drug abuser was hiding at a corner within the aircon ledge. PHOTO: CNB

Two officers – SGT Jane (not her real name) from the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) and WO Muhammad Faris from the Singapore Civil Defence Force’s Disaster and Rescue Team – share with us their thoughts on the nail-biting experience.

Share with me your encounter with the suspect on that day.
SGT Jane: During our anti-drug operation, one of our officers stationed at the foot of the block noticed the female suspected drug abuser scaling down the building. He immediately informed the team and I quickly rushed to the stairway to calm her down and not let her endanger herself any further.

WO Faris: Upon our arrival, two of my teammates climbed out to the aircon ledge to support the woman while I assisted her to climb into the nearest unit safely.

SGT Jane: After ensuring the safety of the woman, our officers gained entry into her unit. Along with drug paraphernalia, we found her seven-year-old son hiding under the blanket in the accused’s bedroom. He told our officers that his mother had instructed him not to open the door. Arrangements were made for the welfare of the boy, who was then placed in the safe custody of a next-of-kin.

The suspect’s elder child found hiding under the blanket inside the unit’s bedroom. PHOTO: CNB

What ran through your mind during the incident?
WO Faris: My team and I were focused on the rescue operation to quickly bring the woman and her baby to safety. As a father of four children, I was sad that she has placed her baby in a dangerous situation. However, I was also extremely relieved when we brought her to safety.

WO Faris’ height rescue training routine. PHOTO: Joash Tan

SGT Jane: I’m not a parent myself, but like Faris, I was really glad when she was brought to safety. During the incident, I made sure to keep her engaged while waiting for Faris and his team to reach her as I did not want her to make any sudden movement that could cause her to slip off the aircon ledge.

What was the key to the successful operation?
WO Faris: It is teamwork and having a common goal as Home Team officers.
CNB officers in a mock simulation of a house search. PHOTO: Dayana Yakob

SGT Jane: I felt a strong sense of camaraderie with an implicit common understanding when we work together. As such, we tend to coordinate better and are able to conduct our operations safely and swiftly.

WO Faris successfully rescues the victim as part of his daily height rescue training. PHOTO: Joash Tan


Written by

Elaine Lee


22 September 2022

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