Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) specialised rescuer team, Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (DART), attended a severely injured worker on a narrow ledge 10 storeys up. The worker was suffering an open wound the entire length of his left leg. The incident took place at a construction site along How Sun Drive at about 4.30pm Thursday Sept 10.
The DART team secured themselves in place and set up a lowering system involving ropes and pulleys. “One of the specialists who was cross-trained as an emergency medical technician treated and bandaged the man’s wound, all while being suspended 40m in the air,” said the authority
He did not have the luxury of laying out his medical equipment and the windy conditions made things trickier. Everything, including his body, was attached to a harness that would prevent a fatal free fall.
SCDF said the team is used to rescues from height, as responders are commonly deployed to residential units when people are at risk of jumping.
But the fact that this was a medical emergency on a crane, made it one of the more complex operations, said SCDF.
Even before the stretcher was lowered, a DART rescuer first rappelled off to test the strength of the rope system. The man was brought to the ground about an hour into the operation.
DART specialists are trained for complex operations like urban and water search and rescue as well as heli-bucket operations. Some are also deployed overseas for major disaster relief efforts.
DART commander Lieutenant-Colonel Lok Wee Keong, 43, said rescuers do a lot of hoisting and lowering while training on a hose tower, which is almost as tall as a crane.