NSman dies during HPB exercise session: All high-intensity training sessions for NSmen suspended

The man collapsed at the start of the main exercise after completing the warm-up at West Coast Park. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM GOOGLEMAP

SINGAPORE - A 25-year-old operationally ready national serviceman (NSman) died  on Wednesday (March 2) evening, after collapsing while participating in a Health Promotion Board (HPB) Quick HIIT session.

All HPB Quick HIIT (high-intensity interval training) sessions will be suspended until Sunday (March 6) as investigations are ongoing and safety practices are being reviewed, HPB and the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) said in a statement on Thursday (March 3) morning.

The man, who had joined the session as part of the NS Fitness Improvement Training (FIT) programme, collapsed at the start of the main exercise after completing the warm-up at West Coast Park.

He was immediately attended to by trainers from HPB’s external vendor, the statement said. “The trainers, who are cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and automated external defibrillator (AED) trained, administered CPR and AED on the participant."

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) was alerted to the incident at 7.41pm on Wednesday.

The participant was later taken to National University Hospital (NUH) by ambulance. SCDF officers continued resuscitative efforts on-site as well as on the way to the hospital.

The ambulance arrived at NUH at 8.23pm. The man was pronounced dead at 9.21pm.

Before the start of all HPB physical activity programmes, on-site safety briefings and well-being checks are conducted, said the statement.

“HPB, Mindef and the Singapore Armed Forces extend their deepest condolences to the family and are assisting the family in their time of grief."

The NS FIT programme, which was launched last year, is designed to encourage NSmen to lead active and healthy lifestyles by bringing NS fitness activities nearer to the community.

It offers various fitness activities at 42 locations islandwide, including at fitness conditioning centres within SAF camps and some public parks.

Those who are unable to achieve at least a pass in their individual physical proficiency test can opt to participate in the 10-session programme to fulfil their annual fitness requirements, according to the NS portal. 

The Quick HIIT programme is described as “a form of metabolic circuit training which features short bursts of high-intensity exercises that builds strength, endurance and aerobic fitness over time”.

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