Associate Professor Ho Peng Kee, Chairman of the Home Team Volunteer Network
Commissioner Eric Yap,
Ladies and gentlemen,
- I am delighted to be here at the Civil Defence Lionhearter Forum once again. This is one of the signature events that the SCDF organises to highlight its partnership with the community, especially with our young people.
- Apart from the CD Lionhearters, I am glad to see that there are other volunteer groups also present: the Civil Defence Auxiliary Unit, and the National Civil Defence Cadet Corps.
- This forum is also part of the series of events that the SCDF is organising to commemorate 150 years of civil defence volunteerism in Singapore. The first official voluntary fire brigade established in 1869. This laid the foundation for various volunteer groups that we have today.
Importance of Civil Defence Volunteerism
- The Home Team’s mission is to make Singapore a safe and secure home. But we cannot do this alone. It is therefore crucial that we partner with the community and have you as champions of Emergency Preparedness.
- You are also our ready pool of Community First Responders, who are trained and could be called upon to render assistance to others during emergencies.
- As we saw from news reports following the recent terror attack against Muslim worshippers in Christchurch, New Zealand, members of the local community stepped forward and provided aid to the victims of the attack, prior to the arrival of the emergency forces. In one example, a lady pulled a man who had been shot into her car, and helped to stop the blood flow from a bullet wound until medical professionals arrived.
- This reinforces the importance of SCDF's efforts in empowering the community with the knowledge to apply Improvised First Aid Skills during terror attacks. Furthermore, it highlights a more significant progress - the display of courage, resilience and community spirit even in the most challenging and difficult situations.
Learning from our Community First Responders
- The theme for the CD Lionhearter Forum this year is “SCDF Community First Responders: Towards A Nation of Lifesavers”. We will be presenting the Community Lifesaver Award to four Community First Responders from ITE College West later to recognise their efforts in saving the life of a student.
- During a class bonding activity in school on 10 April, one student went into seizure after a fall. She became unconscious with a weak pulse and weak breathing. A while later, she was observed with no pulse and she was not breathing. Fellow classmate, Mr Scott Hendroff, who was trained during his national service as a combat medic immediately performed CPR on the student. Lecturers Mdm Jessica Tan, Mdm Norhaidah Ramlee and Mr Zave Toh also assisted with CPR compressions and in using the AED on the student. Thankfully for the timely intervention of these individuals, the student was saved.
- I am also thrilled to be part of the new segment for the forum this year - a talk show with individuals who have helped others during emergencies. These are individuals who provided aid because they found that spark in them to step forward as Community First Responders, and not because it was their job to do so. It was because they wanted to do it – they felt compelled and stepped up to serve.
- Amongst those here today is Mr Jeremy Chua Han Xiang, a full time National Serviceman with SCDF, who has responded to numerous myResponder app notifications. On 28 December last year, he responded to a fire incident where he and another Community First Responder drew water using plastic buckets found nearby, and extinguished a fire in a recycling bin before SCDF officers arrived.
- Mr Jeremy Chua responded to yet another myResponder app notification the next day regarding a suspected cardiac arrest case.Upon arrival at the location, he took over the CPR from a family member until the paramedics arrived.
- We also have Mr Rex Ang Jia Jie, a nursing student, who has responded to many cardiac arrest cases through the myResponder app. He even brings his trauma bag with him when he responds to those cases.
- I look forward to hearing more of their stories later on. I hope that everyone here will be inspired by their sharing and motivated to follow their lead.I look forward to hearing your stories in the near future as well.
Beyond 150 years of Civil Defence Volunteerism
- As we celebrate 150 years of civil defence volunteerism, remember that all of you play important roles in charting the future of this movement.
- You have already taken that big step forward to be part of the SCDF family. Your contributions are important and every small effort contributes towards the altruistic nature of saving lives and property counts. Who knows that one day, your lifesaving actions during an incident may inspire others to step forward and become a community first responder. In short, your support, belief, and dedication to the cause will go a long way in making a nation of lifesavers a reality.
- To conclude, you - our volunteers and other Community First Responders, play an important role in providing early assistance to protect and save lives and property. The lifesaving skills you are equipped with put you on strong footing to make a critical difference before SCDF arrives.
- On that note, let us continue to work together, hand in hand to build a Nation of Lifesavers. Thank you.