[From Left] WO2 Azmir Ali Bin Ameer (DART Section Commander), SGT3 Lye Jian Cheng, Keith (Emergency Medical Technician/Fire Section Commander), SGT2 Junaidy Bin Salleh (DART Rescue Specialist), LTA See Chi Yang, Johnny (Station 11 Rota Commander), WO2 Hanapi Bin Ninsawi (DART Deputy Rota Commander), SSG Ahmad Ridhwan Bin Dahlan (DART Section Commander), LTA Ahmad Faizal Bin Abdul Hanan (DART Rota Commander), WO1 Chua Lai Sian (DART Section Commander), WO1 Fendilato Bin Muhd Tahir (DART Section Commander) and WO1 Muhammad Umar Alsiddiq Bin Rahman (DART Rescue Specialist).
On the evening of 12 November 2021, SCDF fire and rescue specialists from Central Fire Station and members of the elite Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (DART) responded to a height rescue operation at a construction site along Beach Road. A man had
injured his leg while working on a 70-metre tower crane and was unable to climb down to safety.
“After carefully assessing our surroundings and strategising a safe route to reach the casualty, Sergeant Keith lashed the EMT bag on his back and both of us climbed the cat ladder to reach the injured worker,” said Lieutenant (LTA) See Chi
Yang, Johnny, the Rota Commander from Central Fire Station.
“We found the casualty lying on the platform. He was in great pain and was unable to move. Our main priority then was to extricate the casualty as soon as possible without aggravating his injuries,” recalled Sergeant (SGT3) Lye Jian Cheng,
Keith, a fire and rescue specialist who is cross-trained as an emergency medical technician.
Suspecting that the man had broken his right leg, the fire and rescue specialists bandaged the injured leg and secured it with a specialised splint – a compact and lightweight device designed for immobilising bone and soft tissue injuries during
an emergency – in preparation for the height rescue operation.
DART specialists WO2 Azmir Ali and WO1 Muhammad Umar transferring the casualty onto the stretcher before the descent.
DART Rota Commander, LTA Ahmad Faizal Bin Abdul Hanan recalled, “A major challenge we faced during this operation was that the area surrounding the tower crane was filled with scaffolding and unfinished structures of the building.”
“And because of that, we had to make a quick call to remove enough pieces of the scaffolding to ensure a wide yet safe landing space for our rescuers and casualty,” Warrant Officer (WO2) Azmir Ali Bin Ameer added.
WO2 Azmir Ali and WO1 Muhammad Umar Alsiddiq Bin Rahman were the two DART rescue specialists who climbed the tower crane to set up a height lowering system while another team of DART specialists prepared the area on the ground to receive the casualty.
The DART specialists had to also ensure the proper rigging of the rescue equipment and smooth execution of the descent. A key piece of equipment used was the power ascender, a specialised portable battery-operated device that greatly facilitates the
rescuer to ascend and descend with a casualty, accelerating the speed of the rescue operation. It can carry a load of up to 250 kilograms.
“The bulk of time was spent in the meticulous assessment and planning of the entire rescue mission as safety is of our utmost priority. In such scenarios, we had to remain composed yet be swift in our action as time is a critical factor in saving
lives,” WO2 Azmir Ali explained.
As WO1 Muhammad Umar attached himself to the stretcher and prepared the casualty for the descent, fear gripped the injured man as he came face to face with the extreme height while lying sideways on the stretcher with his injured right leg resting over
WO1 Muhammad Umar descended the tower crane with the casualty secured to the stretcher. The power ascender (in green) is rigged above the rescuer and casualty.
“I was worried that the casualty might make abrupt movements while he was on the stretcher. I had to therefore constantly reassure him that he is in safe hands as we descended the tower crane,” said WO1 Muhammad Umar.
The injured man was subsequently brought down safely after which the SCDF ambulance crew assessed the man before conveying him to the hospital.
“Every rescue mission reminds me of the importance of teamwork, precise coordination and professionalism which are key contributors to an operational success,” LTA Ahmad Faizal said as he reflected on this successful height rescue operation.
WO1 Muhammad Umar also remarked, “And not to forget the safety culture in SCDF and the vigorous training we went through all these years! I used to be afraid of heights but after six years of service in DART and many height rescue operations,
my calling to save lives has now superseded all fear!”
[From left] SGT3 Lye Jian Cheng, Keith, WO2 Azmir Ali Bin Ameer, WO1 Muhammad Umar Alsiddiq Bin Rahman, LTA Ahmad Faizal and LTA See Chi Yang, Johnny, formed the core team who rescued the injured worker from the tower crane.