Hawkers take life-saving course

When an old man fainted in front of him, Mr Poh Liang Seng, 60, panicked and did not know what to do.

This happened "a few years ago", said Mr Poh, who was at his drinks stall at Haig Road Hawker Centre when the incident happened.

He said in Mandarin: "Passers-by were going to the hawkers for help. But what could we do? All we knew was to call for an ambulance and wait for help."

Should a similar incident happen again, he will be better prepared to handle it.

This is because Mr Poh and some hawkers from the Haig Road and Eunos Crescent hawker centres have been taking cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) courses since two years ago.

Indeed, a refresher course in CPR and Automated External Defibrillator was organised by the Geylang Serai Citizens' Consultative Committee a fortnight ago at the Geylang Serai Community Club.

A total of 17 participants from both hawker centres spent their morning refreshing their CPR knowledge.

Associate Professor Fatimah Lateef, Member of Parliament for Marine Parade GRC, said: "The objective of this event is to foster bonding among hawkers and stallholders through this training.

"We also take this opportunity to build a community of preparedness and to equip our stallholders with the skills so that should there be any emergency, they are able to render first aid."

Did not mind sparing time

Mr Tang Jo Chok, 58, who sells noodles at the Eunos Crescent Hawker Centre, said he did not mind sparing time for the first-aid course.

"It was our rest day anyway. And CPR is very important in cases of emergency. If anything happens, I will know how to administer CPR immediately. Lives may be saved that way," he said in Mandarin.

The CPR training session is another initiative under the People's Association's Grassroots Community Engagement Programme.


This article was first published in The New Paper.