Ter­ror at­tacks: Pre­par­ing vol­un­teers to save lives

The New Paper - - NEWS -

An ex­plo­sion fol­lowed in quick suc­ces­sion by shots fired by two “gun­men” rang out out­side the West Coast Com­mu­nity Cen­tre yes­ter­day morn­ing.

Both “at­tack­ers” were swiftly taken down af­ter a brief shoot-out with the po­lice.

It was part of a sim­u­lated ex­er­cise aimed at ed­u­cat­ing res­i­dents on what to do in an emer­gency, such as send­ing text mes­sages to the po­lice and pro­vid­ing ba­sic first aid.

Min­is­ter for Trade and In­dus­try (In­dus­try) S. Iswaran, an MP for West Coast GRC, said it was im­por­tant for mem­bers of the com­mu­nity to be able to do their part should a cri­sis oc­cur.

Mr Iswaran, who watched the ex­er­cise, said the threat of ter­ror­ism is real, point­ing to in­ci­dents such as the re­cent ve­hi­cle-ram­ming at­tacks in France and Britain, as well as De­cem­ber’s sub­way bomb­ing in New York City.

He called on res­i­dents to sup­port SGSe­cure, which is aimed at pre­par­ing cit­i­zens to re­spond in the event of a ter­ror­ist at­tack.

“The more vol­un­teers and the more peo­ple who know what to do, the bet­ter pre­pared we’ll be and the more lives we can save,” he said.

He noted that 60 shop­keep­ers in the West Coast area have been trained in fire­fight­ing and life-sav­ing skills un­der the Mer­chants on Cert (Com­mu­nity Emer­gency Re­sponse Team) Pa­trol pro­gramme since 2015.

Mr Tan Tuang Siang, who chairs the West Coast Com­mu­nity Emer­gency and En­gage­ment Com­mit­tee, said the com­mit­tee will con­tinue to con­duct more first aid and life-sav­ing classes.

Shop­keeper Bernard Thia said the skills he learnt came into use re­cently when he helped a man who had col­lapsed while eat­ing at a hawker cen­tre.

He was able to clear the man’s throat and call for an am­bu­lance.

“Many peo­ple rushed down when they saw what hap­pened, but they didn’t know what to do,” said the 70-yearold chair­man of the West Coast Drive Mer­chants’ As­so­ci­a­tion. – ZHAKI AB­DUL­LAH

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