'Transport workers critical as first responders in crises'

Singapore Civil Defence Force Third Sergeant Daniel Yuen (third from left) and Private Alif Irwan (fifth from left) instructing bus drivers how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation at yesterday's seminar.
Singapore Civil Defence Force Third Sergeant Daniel Yuen (third from left) and Private Alif Irwan (fifth from left) instructing bus drivers how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation at yesterday's seminar.ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG

Every single transport worker in Singapore should be a potential life saver.

Mr Melvin Yong, executive secretary of the National Transport Workers' Union (NTWU), said this yesterday at the first counter-terrorism seminar for the public transport industry.

Transport workers play a critical role as first responders in crisis situations, said Mr Yong.

This ranges from assisting with evacuations to performing life-saving cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

But he hopes for more training for the workers his union represents.

As an example, he noted that although transport workers are trained in first aid, they received different levels of training. To help rectify this, first aid should be taught as a module at the Singapore Bus Academy to all workers, he said.

Held two months after the launch of SGSecure, yesterday's seminar at Ang Mo Kio Grassroots' Club marked the first step towards training all transport staff to respond to crises, he said.

SGSecure is a national movement launched to prepare Singaporeans for a domestic terrorist attack.

The Public Transport Tripartite Committee, comprising members from the Government, public transport operators and the union, will further discuss security next year.

Mr Rosmani Juraini, 53, president of the NTWU, said the most important outcome from the seminar is a more structured programme to ensure all workers know how to respond to any crisis.

Mr Rosmani, who worked as a train captain for 30 years, said: "It's a sense of ownership that I can do something. Not only when I do my duty as a train driver or a bus driver... but also a citizen of Singapore."

Ms Tammy Tan, SBS Transit senior vice-president of corporate communications, said the company has been working towards the SGSecure goals.

Ms Tan said educational posters have been put up in trains and stations along the North-East and Downtown MRT lines, and that the police have begun to hold security briefings for the firm's staff.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 03, 2016, with the headline ''Transport workers critical as first responders in crises''. Print Edition | Subscribe