Using only basic tools like a screwdriver, chisel and hammer, Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) officer Mohamed Affino Mohd Amin and his team freed a man's mangled hand from a meat grinder.
The men from the Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team wore surgical gloves and suits to perform their intricate "operation" in a surgical suite at Tan Tock Seng Hospital.
They were working in a tight space, and without their usual metal-cutting tools, as they could not take battery- or fuel-operated devices into the theatre.
The pressure to save the victim's hand was high, as he writhed in pain, half-conscious, but Second Warrant Officer Affino stayed focused. "I just thought of what to do next, and not the outcome. What's plan A, what's plan B," said the 37-year-old.
He managed to turn the meat grinder anti-clockwise, and his team freed the victim's hand after 20 minutes. Regrettably, part of the limb had to be amputated.
For their work in the incident in October last year, the team won a Minister for Home Affairs Operational Excellence Award.
Said Major Ivan Kwok, commander of Yishun Fire Station, who was in charge: "I believe this award will spur the team further to give their very best."
This and other awards to Home Team personnel involved in 103 successful operations were presented by Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean yesterday.
Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officer Jerry Teo, 36, won an award for uncovering more than $500,000 worth of Ice, or methamphetamine, in a Thai-registered car at the Woodlands Checkpoint.
"He said he was going for a tour, but he had no luggage, and his travel patterns didn't tally," said Staff Sergeant Teo.
Others were police investigation officer Dennis Chew, 33, who helped to put two con men behind bars, and SCDF officer Ang Hwee Ting, 25, who successfully handled a warehouse fire.
This article was first published on Sept 27, 2014.
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