Mr Rex Ang Jia Jie, 20 years of age, is more than just an ordinary young man who is in pursuit of a purposeful life. Each time when a siren rings on his mobile phone, Rex rushes to the scene of a medical emergency to save lives with his trauma bag before the ambulance arrives. To date, Rex has responded to more than 20 myResponder app notifications.
One may think that Rex is a trained paramedic or a qualified nurse but he is neither. Rex was a aeronautical engineering student who is now pursuing a diploma in nursing at the Parkway College of Nursing and Allied Health, after realizing his strong passion to help those who are in distress.
Although Rex is only a student, he is already an exemplary Community First Responder (CFR) who is saving lives in his personal capacity.
Rex remembered an incident he responded to for the very first time on the myResponder app, he felt he could have done much more to help the patient. That was when he decided to invest in a set of first-aid equipment.
“I felt helpless that I couldn’t do much to help with the equipment that I had. So I thought that there was no harm investing in more things (items for the bag). That was how it started. All I did was to invest one item at a time and it built up over a period of time.” says Rex, as he pointed to his 2-kilogram trauma bag, which is now filled with many lifesaving equipment.
Rex carries his trauma bag everywhere he goes. He said it enables him to be prepared for any nearby medical emergency.
When asked about the most unforgettable case that left a significant impact on him, Rex said that all the cases he responded to have changed his perspectives and moulded his character.
As Rex recalled the first time when he volunteered at a nursing home with his mother, he said he felt a sense of achievement and immense satisfaction about the positive difference that he had made in people’s lives.
“I remembered being in the kitchen of the nursing home preparing crab meat for the elderlies. Even though this was a backend job, the food eventually got served, so in a way, it is still a contribution,” says Rex.
“Volunteerism is about using your own free time to help others. At the end of the day, every small contribution that you do matters. Even when handling emergency cases, every contribution counts, no matter how big or small. A simple task like holding on to the lift for paramedics to enter can reduce waiting time, and that is already a contribution because every second counts during an emergency.”
Rex will soon be enlisted for his national service after serving his 3-year bond with Parkway College of Nursing and Allied Health. His next goal is to sign on with the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) as a paramedic. In the meantime, Rex said he will continue to respond to the myResponder cases.
“I see myself doing this probably for my entire life because I have been doing this for so long now. “Regardless of your training, as long as you have the heart to save a life, that is all that matters,” says Rex.
 The myResponder app was developed by the SCDF in collaboration with the Government Technology Agency of Singapore (GovTech) to crowdsource for lifesavers. Whenever there is a case of a medical emergency such as cardiac arrest, the app sends out a message to Community First Responders (CSRs) registered on the app who are within 400 metres of the patient.