SINGAPORE - Senior guest officer Muhammad Adlan Hassan Basri was working in the office at community hub Heartbeat@Bedok when his intern, who was next to him and hosting a fitness class on videoconferencing platform Zoom, suddenly gasped.
The instructor - who was in a studio away from the office - had collapsed.
Mr Adlan rushed to the studio to find the instructor lying on the ground.
"I was panicking, but luckily, my lifeguard colleague was there to tell me to do CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) as he set up the AED (automated external defibrillator)," said the 32-year-old.
While Mr Adlan is trained in emergency response, he added that he was still caught off guard when he encountered such an incident for the first time in September.
Mr Adlan and another lifeguard colleague took turns to perform CPR while waiting for Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) paramedics to arrive.
On Friday (Dec 3), the three were among 19 people presented with the community lifesaver and community first responder awards by the SCDF at Pasir Ris Sports Hall.
Lifeguard Henry Tan Kim Heng, 60, who helped out that day, said: "It's all about making an effort to learn the skills from the lifeguard academy and practise them, and doing our best when incidents happen. That's all we can do. We can't afford to panic, there is no time."
Mr Steven Ismail Muhammad was the other lifeguard who assisted that day.
The instructor recovered in hospital.
According to SCDF's website, more than 2,300 Singaporeans suffer from cardiac arrest annually. Of this number, only 3 per cent survive.
Cardiac arrest occurs when the heart stops beating unexpectedly, cutting off blood flow to the brain and other organs.
Chances of survival drop by 10 per cent every minute that passes without CPR and the use of an AED, and bystander CPR is shown to double survival rates, said the SCDF website.
An AED is a portable machine that automatically analyses the victim's heart rhythm and directs the user to deliver an electric shock to the victim if required.
Another award recipient, Mr Darren Tan Chun Yong, 23, also rose to the occasion in October.
He was playing badminton in Pasir Ris Sports Hall when he realised that the attention of his opponent was diverted elsewhere.
He followed her gaze to see that a contractor, who was about to start pest control work at the entrance of the hall, had fallen backwards and collapsed on the floor.
He rushed over to check the man's breathing while passers-by called for an ambulance.
"It happened too fast for me to think. My mind was blank and I just did whatever I could," said Mr Tan, who is a cabin crew member with Scoot and is trained to do CPR.
Senior fitness instructor Patrick Chan Lee Chong, who was in the gym, was quick to react too after he was told that someone had collapsed.
"I was worried I wouldn't get there fast enough," said the 66-year-old.
The sports hall is about 400m away from the gym.
Mr Chan set up a bag valve mask, which is used to provide ventilation to people facing breathing difficulties.
Five people took turns to perform CPR until SCDF personnel arrived and took the man to hospital.
Mr Chan, who also received the community lifesaver award, said: "Throughout the process, I kept hoping he would wake up. I was so happy to hear the victim made it, and so relieved for his family."
The SCDF said that if there is an emergency, the public should call 995 and assist victims with instruction from the agency while waiting for its responders to arrive.
SCDF will also send them visual guides on how to help people who are choking, perform CPR and use an AED.
The visual guides are also available on the myResponder app.