Nurse opts for SCDF because of dad's cardiac case

Ms Geraldine Goh (left) applied to be seconded to the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) in 2014.
Ms Geraldine Goh (left) applied to be seconded to the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) in 2014.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

When Ms Geraldine Goh was 10, her father had a cardiac arrest in a carpark but no one knew how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and he later died.

With this memory in mind, Ms Goh applied to be seconded to the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) in 2014. She was then a nurse at National University Hospital.

At the SCDF operations centre, she helps to guide 995 callers on what to do in an emergency.

She said: "If there's a cardiac arrest case, someone can at least try to do something to save the person. I believe my dad would still be alive today if someone had performed CPR on him immediately."

Ms Goh , 30, a senior staff nurse, recalled a case this year when a couple rang 995 after the man's father collapsed from a cardiac arrest in Punggol. Ms Goh told the wife to get the automated external defibrillator (AED) available at the void deck and taught the husband to carry out CPR. The man's father was resuscitated successfully.

But not all cases end happily.

Once, a 12-year-old girl called 995 after her mother had a cardiac arrest. Ms Goh said: "We tried to ask her to do CPR, but she was too distraught. She said, 'Is my mummy going to die? I have no daddy already'. We were heartbroken to hear that. It was quite sad. I think the mum didn't make it."

 

The nurses also guide people over the phone through the entire process of delivering a baby.

"We have a lot of child deliveries over the phone," said Ms Goh. She has helped deliver about 10 babies during her time at the SCDF operations centre, guiding fathers through the process of bringing their newborn babies into the world.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 10, 2018, with the headline 'Nurse opts for SCDF because of dad's cardiac case'. Print Edition | Subscribe