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Community Responders: Serving with Heart

Meet Andy: One of our SGSecure Responders who has set his heart to helping others in need.
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SGSecure Responder Andy Koh. PHOTO: Joash Tan

The SGSecure app buzzed, notifying nearby Responders to a cardiac arrest case, and for Andy Koh, it’s his call to action. Dropping whatever he was doing, he picked up his trusty first aid kit and bolted towards the location.

The fresh-faced 22-year-old boy-next-door signed up to be a Responder when he was a student at the Institute of Technical Education four years ago. No special powers, just a willingness to help others in their times of need. 

As Andy weaved his way through the HDB blocks in the vicinity, he kept checking the map to ensure he was taking the most direct route. Time is of the essence as any delay would decrease the victim’s survival rate.

“Whenever the alarm from the app sounds, my heart sinks a little as it means someone is in distress. But I still spring into action when it happens,” Andy said.

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PHOTOS: Joash Tan

Upon arrival at the incident, Andy switched to auto-pilot mode, a process he has grown accustomed to after responding to numerous cases.

Andy’s personal SOP
Step 1: Check for pulse and breathing.
Step 2: Ask nearest bystanders if an ambulance has been called and if not, to do so immediately.
Step 3: Ask for the patient’s relevant medical history from family members, if possible.
Step 4: Commence cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) if there’s no pulse or breathing. 

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PHOTOS: Rytasha Passion Raj

Andy was undergoing a first aid course to fulfil requirements as the executive committee member for his co-curricular activity, Taekwondo at ITE College Central, when he was introduced to the SGSecure app. 

“I knew nothing about the app until I attended the course. It was only after my instructor shared with us the functions of the app did I sign up for it,” he recounted.

Over the past four years, Andy has responded to more than 20 alerts via the SGSecure app. There were times when his efforts were not successful, and thoughts of quitting would arise due to self-doubts. But Andy pressed on as he still found it meaningful to help in other ways, for example, comforting or guiding the victim’s family members on the next steps.

Seeing the work of his brothers – an ambulance driver and a policeman – also greatly encouraged and inspired him to serve the community. Andy carries a first aid kit wherever he goes so he can render timely assistance. 

“We never know when an accident would happen and it’s good to be able to help at a moment’s notice,” he explained.

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Always prepared: Andy stocking up his first aid kid once it’s used, as he never knows when he may need it. PHOTOS: Rytasha Passion Raj

Since becoming an SGSecure Responder, Andy has had a refreshed outlook towards life. Growing up in a conservative family, he was told to mind his own business and not be a busybody; a sentiment shared by some Singaporeans. 

This, he observed, was why some people showed apprehension in coming forward to help others. 

“One can save lives with just a phone call,” he said. “The first and most important thing one can, and should always do, is to alert the authorities, be it on suspicious activity or calling for an ambulance. The 995 operator can even guide the caller through the CPR and first aid process.” 

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Andy lives by his personal mantra of doing his best to help others. PHOTO: Joash Tan

Having attended to many cardiac arrest cases, Andy’s seen death up close multiple times. This has taught him a valuable life lesson: the fragility of life. 

“Life can be unpredictable. I’ve learnt to value time and cherish the people around me. I find it meaningful to be able to help people wherever I can.”

SGSecure Responders
The community plays a critical role in our fight against terrorism. Anyone can be an SGSecure Responder if you are willing to help in the following ways:

1. Staying Alert – Report anything suspicious to authorities early through the “Report” function in the SGSecure app.
2. Staying United – In the event of a terror attack or security incident, keep calm and obtain latest information from official sources such as through the “Alert” function in the SGSecure app. Do not speculate or spread misinformation/ disinformation, only share verified information from official sources.
3. Staying Strong – Timely response to nearby cases of cardiac arrest and minor fire can save lives. No prior certification in life-saving skills is needed to give a hand, but being trained in them can better prepare you to deal with an emergency.  

Download the SGSecure app for Apple users / Android users, or scan the QR code below and sign up as a Responder today! 

You can also click here or visit the SGSecure Roadshows at Ngee Ann City (18-20 November 2022) and Canopy@J Link (2-4 December 2022) to find out more about SGSecure!

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Written by

Joash Tan


17 November 2022

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