PHOTOS: NSPD

Through a coordinated team effort, DART Specialists successfully mounted a 10-storey-high crane rescue operation.

In the late afternoon of 7 September 2020, Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) firefighters, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (DART) Specialists rushed to a construction site at How Sun Drive after a man working on a 40-metre-tall crane injured his leg and found himself stuck on an elevated platform.

Four DART Specialists, including SGT3 Muhammad Faris Mohammed, attached themselves to harnesses and climbed a ladder to the top of the crane before traversing 15-metres of the narrow platform to where the casualty was sitting. Another four DART Specialists stayed on the ground to prepare a stretcher.

Teamwork at Play

SGT3 Faris knew that immediate medical attention was needed when he saw the casualty. “The person was severely injured. There was an open wound on his left leg, from below the hip to the area near the ankle,” recalled the 33-year-old. SGT3 Faris was crouching on a narrow platform suspended 10 storeys high, with barely enough space for two people to stand side-by-side. The windy conditions made things trickier. “I tried to make him comfortable by getting him to lie down and I provided him with some oxygen,” said SGT3 Faris, who is also a trained emergency medical technician. He subsequently bandaged the wound to prevent infections while his colleagues set up a rope-and-pulley system for the stretcher.

When all that was done, the DART Specialists on the ground hoisted the stretcher to where the casualty was and he was then secured him firmly on it. “We ensured that we had good anchor points, and that all our attachments were secured before we helped the casualty onto the stretcher,” said SGT3 Faris, who added that the casualty’s safety was a priority.

Through the collaborative efforts of DART, the firefighters and the EMS crew, the casualty was brought down to the ground about an hour into the operation and was assessed by SCDF paramedics, before an ambulance sent him to Sengkang General Hospital.

“In every action, all parties have to cooperate with each other. The safety of the team members and the injured is the primary consideration, and team spirit is very important.”

DART Commander Lieutenant-Colonel (LTC) Lok Wee Keong

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