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November 24, 2017 Friday | Last updated on 24/11/2017 5:21PM (Singapore)
 
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Home Team News Home / Features / SGSecure: Young or Old, Everyone Has a Part to Play  
Published: 03 Nov 2017 09:33AM (Singapore)
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SGSecure: Young or Old, Everyone Has a Part to Play
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Student-athlete Ferdinand Ezekiel Francis and long-time Choa Chu Kang resident Lim Fang Zhen are passionate community volunteers. Find out how they have gone the extra mile to ensure the safety and security of their friends and neighbours.
 
By Muhamad Khair
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The Importance of First Aid

Final-year Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP) student Ferdinand Ezekiel Francis was one of many who participated in the Choa Chu Kang Emergency Preparedness (EP) Day on 29 October 2017.

“EP days are good for people to understand what the Home Team does in times of crisis. It also tells civilians what they can do, which I think is very important for us to understand so that we can contribute as well,” he said.

The 20-year-old is a rookie Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) member who recently joined the team a few months ago.

Though he role-played a casualty and not a CERT member in the simulation exercise, the student-athlete is very familiar with first aid – off the pitch, the NP rugby player heeds the call as his team’s first aider.

Ferdinand posing for a photo
First aid skills are useful for student-athlete Ferdinand Ezekiel Francis and his rugby team whenever they face injuries such as dislocated shoulders and concussions. PHOTO: Aizil A. Rahim

These skills were also put to use at a crucial moment, when Ferdinand came to the aid of his sister, who suffers from epileptic seizures.

“When she had her first fit, I tried to recall basic first aid skills I read from booklets given by the SCDF – it was minimal, but at least I could do something to help her,” he said.

Ferdinand hopes to see more young people like him picking up first aid skills.

“I’m always hungry to learn more about first aid to broaden my skills, in order to be on the guard to help others,” he said, adding that he intends on venturing into sports first aid in the near future.

Growing Up in an Ageing Neighbourhood

Lim Fang Zhen is a Choa Chu Kang resident who has lived in the area his whole life. “Change is the only constant,” says the 28-year-old who has seen the neighbourhood, and its people, grow over the decades.

Fang Zhen posing for a picture
Long-time resident Lim Fang Zhen finds it his responsibility to play his part in the community. PHOTO: Aizil A. Rahim

Home to many elderly residents, Teck Whye is one of the older estates within Choa Chu Kang. Fang Zhen interacts with many of these residents when he goes for home visits in his capacity as Vice-Chairman of the Choa Chu Kang Zone 2 Residents’ Committee (RC).

Talking to the elderly requires a different set of skills, which Fang Zhen has refined since he started working in the Pioneer Generation Office’s operations team.

“Elderly residents are usually more concerned with issues to do with the neighbourhood and its amenities. They’ll ask, “When is the shelter going to be built?” and, “Why are the tiles slippery?” rather than about SGSecure,” explained Fang Zhen.

To better engage them, he uses home visits as an opportunity to encourage residents to take part in events within their community, such as EP days.

For him, it is important to reach out to the whole community. “We live here, and the residents are our friends and neighbours. To be unable to support them in times of crisis puts everyone in a dangerous place where we’re just waiting for help. It’s important to be proactive rather than reactive,” said Fang Zhen.

The two-year CERT member added, “You don’t need to be a CERT member to act. You don’t have to be certified to do something.”

ERT officers in action
Emergency Response Team (ERT) officers from the Singapore Police Force in action during the Counter Terrorism Exercise. PHOTO: Aizil A Rahim

Visit the SGSecure website to find out how you can be part of the SGSecure movement. Read more stories about SGSecure in the community:

Tea Can Wait, SGSecure Messages First!

SGSecure in the Community: Yuhua EP Day

SGSecure: Toa Payoh Volunteers Help Create a Crisis Ready Community

SGSecure: United Against Terrorism

SGSecure: Ensuring a Safe Passage

SGSecure: Keeping Guests Safe a Top Priority

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