Few jitters for this pioneer

Few jitters for this pioneer
Sergent Abdul Hamid,24, carrying a victim out the collapse building during the training exercise.

HANOI - He is the first emergency medical technician (EMT) from the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) to be sent for an overseas assignment.

For Sergeant Abdul Hamid, being a pioneer stressed him a little, but he quickly overcame these fears once the mission began.

"I definitely feel a little pressured being the first-ever EMT to be sent overseas to represent SCDF, but I was trained to operate under pressure," the 24-year-old said.

As an EMT, Sgt Abdul is qualified to carry out independent patient assessment and provide basic life support before the arrival of paramedics.

Together with seven others, Sgt Abdul was sent by the SCDF to take part in the ASEAN Disaster Emergency Response Simulation Exercise (Ardex) held in Hanoi, Vietnam, last week.

The four-day exercise simulated a typhoon disaster and was facilitated by the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management.

It involved six other ASEAN countries such as the Philippines, Brunei and Malaysia.

The centre, which coordinates the rescue efforts of ASEAN nations and international agencies, was established last year. This was the first time the centre's role was demonstrated in Ardex.

During the exercise, the SCDF team was tasked with rescuing trapped casualties from a three-storey building in the Thuy An commune in Ba Vi district.

Sgt Abdul said there was much to learn from Vietnam: "I feel fortunate to be living in Singapore which has no major natural disasters, so this is why it is important to learn from other countries' experiences."

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