The University now has its very own student-led lifesaving team. These 27 students are the pioneer batch of the NUS Civil Defence (CD) Lionhearter Club, a community service student interest group trained by the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) in the Triangle of Life Skillsets — Basic First Aid, Basic Fire Fighting, as well as Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) procedures. These skills enable them to provide first level response in the interim before SCDF arrives for any emergencies on- or off-campus.
The Lionhearters, as they are more casually known, were officially appointed on 14 September at the launch of their club, held at University Town Plaza. The launch began with demonstration of the urban search and rescue dogs used by SCDF in emergency situations such as searching for people trapped in collapsed buildings or pinpointing the source of fires. Together with NUS Campus Security, the student group then had a chance to showcase their skills through a simulated emergency scenario. The Lionhearters demonstrated their lifesaving abilities — putting out fire, performing first aid as well as administering CPR and AED. The various displays were met with enthusiastic response and cheers from the crowd that gathered.
In his speech at the event, Guest-of-Honour Associate Professor Ho Peng Kee, Chairman of the Home Team Volunteer Network and Associate Professorial Fellow at NUS Law, called the launch an auspicious start. “The Lionhearters movement is a movement worth joining. It is about you and me, it’s about our lives and the lives of our loved ones. Together, let’s keep Singapore safe and secure,” he declared.
The students will be involved in both external and internal community projects under SCDF. They will assist in Emergency Preparedness Days in the heartlands to share lifesaving knowledge and skills to the members of the community, as well as serve in overseas humanitarian relief projects.
NUS CD Lionhearter Club President Year 3 NUS Arts and Social Sciences student Syafiq Bin Mohd Abdul Muhaimin Ong shared that the group’s most immediate task in the University will be to assist NUS Safety, Health & Environment in the campus CPR familiarisation courses. He added that they are currently also looking into engaging with faculties, halls and residential colleges, with the aim of equipping the NUS community with basic lifesaving skills and knowledge on improvised first aid, fire safety, as well as CPR and AED procedures.
“One of the club’s key visions is to develop and foster an emergency-prepared campus; not just the NUS students but also any staff and workers within the University’s facilities since these are essential lifesaving skills that can be used in other situations outside of NUS. In this way, we hope to contribute to the SCDF 2025 vision of creating a nation of lifesavers,” Syafiq said.
The CD Lionhearter Club was first launched in 2009 and since then has grown to some 1,500 members. NUS is the second university to join and is the 12th club.