Cabby, bus captain lauded for helping driver of car on fire

The SCDF encourages members of the public and transport operators to emulate the selfless actions of Mr Ong (far left) and Mr Jiang. The cabby and bus captain were given the Public Spiritedness Award by the Singapore Civil Defence Force yesterday.
The SCDF encourages members of the public and transport operators to emulate the selfless actions of Mr Ong (above, left) and Mr Jiang. The cabby and bus captain were given the Public Spiritedness Award by the Singapore Civil Defence Force yesterday. PHOTO: TIFFANY GOH FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

A taxi driver and bus captain who helped to extinguish a car fire were given the Public Spiritedness Award by the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) yesterday.

Cabby Ong Kong Poh, 48, had just dropped off a passenger in Farrer Road on Monday when he saw the unoccupied car with thick smoke coming out from its engine.

Mr Ong parked his taxi, took a fire extinguisher from his vehicle and handed it to the driver of the burning car.

Mr Ong, who works for Comfort DelGro, said in Mandarin: "The fire extinguisher wasn't big. It could be used for two minutes but that wasn't enough to extinguish the fire."

Bus captain Jiang Hong, 39, had also seen the car on fire after leaving a bus stop. He asked his passengers for permission to alight and help, and they agreed.

He used a fire extinguisher from the bus to help put out the flames from the burning car.

"I didn't think too much at that point. It was dangerous and I knew I could help, so I did," said the bus captain, who works for SBS.

Mr Ong and Mr Jiang managed to control the fire before the SCDF arrived soon after.

Both men said they had not expected to be given an award. "It was a good deed, but I was just doing my part," said Mr Ong.

Colonel Alan Chow, commander of 1st SCDF Division who presented the awards, said: "Those were the right kind of actions taken by civic-minded individuals with the right skills and the right mindset to help others in need."

The SCDF encourages members of the public and transport operators alike to emulate the selfless actions of Mr Ong and Mr Jiang.

"It could be a family member, a friend or even a random stranger. You never know when you'll see someone in need," said Col Chow.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 11, 2016, with the headline 'Cabby, bus captain lauded for helping driver of car on fire'. Print Edition | Subscribe