Second time's the calm

SINGAPORE - He had handled a similar gruesome crisis before, but he never expected it to happen again so soon.

Last October, firefighter Deddy Irawan Mohamad Pua'ad, 22, helped rescue a Chinese national whose hand was trapped in a grinding machine.

Yesterday, the full-time national serviceman led a team to rescue a woman whose right hand was caught in a meat grinder at the FoodXchange@Admiralty.

His first thoughts were to prepare the same equipment he used in the previous incident, including what is called a grinder.

This time round, it was less traumatic.

His colleague, Sergeant Khairul Anwar, 27, had managed to detach part of the meat grinder.

This allowed Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) officers to shift the worker to the ambulance with her hand still in the grinder.

Sgt Khairul Anwar asked one of her co-workers to place what seemed to be three severed fingers inside an ice bag.

This would increase the chances of re-attaching them. The woman, who works for the Gourmet Pie Company, was calm and used her mobile phone to call a friend, Sgt Deddy Irawan said.

He added: "We are always ready, and I know that we won't get things done if our heads are messed up.

"Especially since I was the section commander for this operation, I had to be calm."

Several vehicles, including a fire engine, an ambulance, a Red Rhino and two fire bikes, were sent to the scene after the SCDF received a call at 10.11am.

The woman was conscious throughout and was sent to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH).

At KTPH's Accident and Emergency Department, the SCDF Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (Dart) removed the grinder from her hand within 20 minutes while the woman was sedated.

A KTPH spokesperson said that she suffered partial to complete amputation of the thumb, index and middle fingers, and was scheduled for surgery yesterday.

When approached, Gourmet Pie Company manager Jim Wilson declined comment.

PAST CASES

FEB 15, 2014

Where: Food centre on the fourth storey of Beauty World Centre in Bukit Timah

What happened: Drinks stall owner Neo Hock Swee, 55, got his thumb stuck in a sugar cane extractor.

It was the third time he had got his thumb stuck in the machine.

The hawker needed several stitches to his thumb - the worst of his three accidents.

 

DEC 22, 2013

Where: Toa Payoh Lorong 8 Food Centre

What happened: Tan Li Xuan, a 14-year-old secondary school student, was helping out at her father's drinks stall during her school holidays.

Li Xuan and her father were closing the stall at about 8.40pm when the girl's hand slipped into the sugar cane extractor.

Three of her fingers were crushed and the skin on her wrist was torn off.

 

OCT 10, 2013

Where: Leong Hin Foods Fishball Factory at Woodlands Loop

What happened: Chinese national Sun Xiaobo, 27, was grinding fish when his hand got stuck in the machine.

Mr Sun's forearm was crushed, with just one or two fingers intact.

Part of his left arm had to be amputated due to the severity of his injuries

 


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