Duo lauded for saving lives after responding to SCDF app's alerts

Ms Chiu Yu Cheng, 22, and Mr Patrick Cheong, 46, were awarded the Community Lifesaver Award by the Singapore Civil Defence Force yesterday for saving the lives of two people in separate incidents using cardiopulmonary resuscitation. They are register
Ms Chiu Yu Cheng, 22, and Mr Patrick Cheong, 46, were awarded the Community Lifesaver Award by the Singapore Civil Defence Force yesterday for saving the lives of two people in separate incidents using cardiopulmonary resuscitation. They are registered as community first responders on SCDF's MyResponder mobile app.ST PHOTO: SAHIBA CHAWDHARY

Fears of another failed attempt crossed salesman Patrick Cheong's mind fleetingly when he still could not revive a cardiac arrest victim even after performing two rounds of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on Dec 28 last year.

This is because out of around 10 times that he had responded to calls for help and performed CPR on strangers, five have died despite his efforts. Still, Mr Cheong dug in and managed to revive the victim - a man in his 40s - on the third try.

For his latest effort, Mr Cheong, 46, was awarded the Community Lifesaver Award by the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) at its headquarters yesterday.

He is among 40,000 members of the public who have registered as community first responders (CFRs) on the SCDF's MyResponder mobile app. The application, which alerts CFRs of cardiac arrest victims in close proximity to them, has been downloaded more than 100,000 times since its inception in 2015. Since then, about 2,250 CFRs have provided help.

Recounting the Dec 28 incident, Mr Cheong told The Straits Times he was at home with his three children when he received the app's alert of a victim collapsing two blocks away from his Bedok home.

When he rushed to the scene, Mr Cheong said, he saw a Chinese man aged around 40 lying at the staircase landing of Block 122, Bedok North Street 2.

Standing over the prone body was the man's father, who was in his 70s and looked visibly worried and panicky until Mr Cheong succeeded on the third CPR attempt.

 
 
 

A month later, Mr Cheong decided to visit their flat to check on how the victim was doing. When he was approaching their door, the victim's father rushed out and thanked him profusely for performing the CPR that saved his son's life.

"I'm surprised he could still remember that I had saved his son's life," said Mr Cheong, chairman of the Community Emergency and Engagement Committee in Bedok.

Besides Mr Cheong, nursing student Chiu Yu Cheng, 22, also received the Community Lifesaver Award yesterday. She had responded to an alert on Nov 5 last year of a cardiac arrest victim at a jogging track in Pasir Ris Street 71.

Relying on skills she learnt in secondary school, she performed CPR on a man aged around 60 who had collapsed during exercise, while her boyfriend tried to find an automated external defibrillator.

Ms Chiu later followed paramedics to the hospital and left after she learnt that the man was recovering. The SCDF said the man has since recovered full mobility.

"I'm relieved to know that the man has made a full recovery,"said Ms Chiu, who said it was the first time she had responded to an alert since she downloaded the MyResponder app two years ago.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 27, 2019, with the headline 'Duo lauded for saving lives after responding to SCDF app's alerts'. Print Edition | Subscribe