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Never Too Young To Be A Community First Responder
Twelve-year-old Ashvin Gunasegaran showed what it means to be a community first responder.

Before 31 May 2016, Ashvin Gunasegaran was just an ordinary 12-year-old student.

His gallant response to a car accident on the said day, however, turned him into an overnight hero.

The Yishun Primary School student was on his way home from school with some of his classmates when they heard a crash behind them while crossing the road.

Two cars had collided near the junction of Yishun Ring Road and Yishun Avenue 2.

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 Commander of 3rd SCDF Division Lieutenant-Colonel Eric Chua presenting Ashvin Gunasegaran the Public Spiritedness Award on 2 June 2016 for his gallant deed. PHOTO: Christopher Chen
 

“Everyone else was taking pictures but no one was helping, so I went [over] to them to ask if they were okay. I was scared and praying hard that the accident wasn't fatal. I was also afraid of the oncoming traffic as I approached the car,” said Ashvin.

One of the drivers involved in the accident was a pregnant lady.

“I wanted to see whether she was okay as she was crying. She said she was in pain,” said Ashvin.

He also checked on the other driver and waited for emergency services to arrive.

“I was very relieved when the ambulance arrived as I knew she would be in good hands,” said Ashvin, referring to the pregnant lady.

On 2 June 2016, the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) presented Ashvin the Public Spiritedness Award for his gallant deed.

“I feel heroic. I actually thought at first that it would just be a normal day, but suddenly, all my friends and family started calling me a hero,” said Ashvin.

The young boy also had advice for others if they faced a similar situation.

“When you see someone in need, you should never feel afraid, just go and help. Sometimes you never know when you [might] need [their help too], and they [might] help you,” he said.

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 “When you see someone in need, you should never feel afraid, just go and help," said 12-year-old Ashvin Gunasegaran. PHOTO: Christopher Chen
 

“I really didn't expect him to go all the way just to help the two ladies involved in the accident. When he came home, he told me ‘Mummy, today I saved someone's life’,” said Swares Helen Louisa, Ashvin’s mother.

“I'm very happy and proud of him. He is the hero in my house now,” she beamed.

Commander of 3rd SCDF Division Lieutenant-Colonel (Lt-Col) Eric Chua encouraged members of the public to step forward as a community first responder: “It's great what Ashvin did. I hope he can be a positive example for his classmates, friends and even to people who do not know him on social media, [so they will] come forth and learn a life-saving skill or two.”

“We try to be at the accident scene as quickly as possible but what better than to have the person next to you be conversant in life-saving skills to render a helping hand,” he said.

Inspired to be a community first responder? Visit https://www.scdf.gov.sg/community-volunteers/visit-scdf-establishments/emergency-preparedness-centre for more details.

© 2019 Ministry of Home Affairs, Singapore. All Rights Reserved.


  1. by Denise Lee
  2. 02 June 2016
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