SCDF award for couple who saved stranger's life

Mr Muhammad Faizal Ibrahim and his girlfriend Noor Hafawati Othman with their Community Lifesaver Awards from SCDF, given in recognition of their public spiritedness.
Mr Muhammad Faizal Ibrahim and his girlfriend Noor Hafawati Othman with their Community Lifesaver Awards from SCDF, given in recognition of their public spiritedness.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

They saw a man collapse and when they found he wasn't breathing, quick-thinking pair performed CPR on him

A date night to watch a World Cup match ended with some real-life heart-thumping action for one couple.

Mr Muhammad Faizal Ibrahim, 26, and his girlfriend Noor Hafawati Othman, 28, were waiting for a taxi in Jalan Besar when they saw a man collapse outside Sim Lim Tower last Wednesday.

When they found that he was unconscious and not breathing, Mr Faizal, an emergency response specialist at port operator PSA, administered cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on him.

It was the first time he had performed CPR on an actual person.

"I felt nervous and scared. I didn't know what was going to happen afterwards. My hands were shaking and I kept asking and checking with my girlfriend whether I was doing it right," he told The Straits Times.

Ms Hafawati, a nurse with Thomson Medical Centre, checked the man's breathing. The couple also asked a passer-by to call an ambulance.

PRAISE FROM COLLEAGUES

When I went to work the next day, everyone was shouting 'Wah! Hero! Hero!'

MR MUHAMMAD FAIZAL IBRAHIM, an emergency response specialist at port operator PSA.

UNEXPECTED ATTENTION

I didn't expect the incident to go viral so fast. My mother has already cut out our interviews with the newspapers and is showing it to everyone who visits.

MS NOOR HAFAWATI OTHMAN, a nurse with Thomson Medical Centre.

The man showed some signs of breathing after CPR. The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said he was breathing again after paramedics used an automated external defibrillator. The man was taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital.

Yesterday, the couple were presented the Community Lifesaver Award by SCDF in recognition of their public spiritedness.

Said 1st SCDF Division Commander, Colonel Lim Boon Hwee: "A life was saved thanks to the quick response. We want to build a nation of lifesavers so that when someone is in need of help, the people nearby can immediately take the initiative and responsibility to conduct and administer aid."

The couple have also won praise from netizens, family members and friends, after videos and photographs of them helping the man were shared on the Internet.

"When I went to work the next day, everyone was shouting 'Wah! Hero! Hero!'" said Mr Faizal.

"I didn't expect the incident to go viral so fast," said Ms Hafawati, who has been a nurse for 10 years. "My mother has already cut out our interviews with the newspapers and is showing it to everyone who visits."

The victim is recovering in hospital. The couple intend to visit him in the next few days.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 04, 2018, with the headline 'SCDF award for couple who saved stranger's life'. Print Edition | Subscribe