When small hands play big roles
He was playing a casual game of badminton with his sister when her shoulder popped.
It was instinctive for him to grab his exercise towel and wrap it around her injured shoulder for support.
Mr Khairul Imran, 19, was only able to act so swiftly because he had undergone first-aid training as a member of the Civil Defence (CD) Lionhearter Club.
Last Saturday, the student from ITE College Central even took on the role as mentor for a team in the inaugural Junior CD Lionhearter Challenge at the Singapore Discovery Centre (SDC) at Upper Jurong Road.
The challenge saw 72 pupils from 18 primary schoolscommemorate Total Defence Day through several hands-on activities involving first aid, fire safety and knowledge of Total Defence.
Jointly organised by the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) and SDC, it was spread over nine stations and teams had to finish in the shortest time.
The Defence Maze was a favourite among the pupils.
Cheran Lee, 11, from the Anchor Green Primary School team that came in second, said: "I really liked the part where I had to be blindfolded and aim and shoot a target while being instructed by my friend. It taught me to have faith in my friends for social defence."
Pupils also had a chance to walk through the On Guard Special Exhibition by SDC where the bright lights and interactive technological interfaces appealed to them.
Teachers were also taken on a tour of the various exhibits at SDC, such as the Crisis Simulation Theatre where they could experience first-hand what a terrorist attack would feel like.
Mr Addy Mohd Adha Wahid, 35, the teacher-in-charge of the winning team from Xishan Primary School said: "The programme is a good channel to educate pupils on how to play a part (in Total Defence). This challenge actually assesses all they have learnt in terms of total defence and helps them see where they stand in keeping Singapore safe."
SCDF's assistant director of the community preparedness branch, Lieutenant-Colonel Bob Tan, 43, said: "Through this programme, children actually take it upon themselves to carry the message of the importance of emergency preparedness back to their families.
"With senior Lionhearters mentoring the junior Lionhearters, we can build this culture of mentoring and caring for one another - something important for social defence."
There were about 40 seniors guiding the juniors.
Mr Preston Samuel, 20, the chairman of the CD Lionhearter Club at ITE College East, was one of them.
"I went to Padang, Indonesia, to draw up an evacuation plan for countryside civilians living in areas prone to landslides and educated them on using fire extinguishers," he said.
Pei Tong Primary Student Tamika Baskar, 10, said: "I live in Singapore and so it is important for me to defend my nation."
It taught me to have faith in my friends for social defence.
- Cheran Lee, 11, on the hands-on activities for Total Defence Day.
Programme covers 35 schools
The Junior CD Lionhearter Programme began last April with just 29 schools and has now grown to include 35 primary schools.
The Junior CD Lionhearters serve as ambassadors for Emergency Preparedness.
They undergo hard skills training in basic first aid, fire safety and soft skills in public speaking and new media.
The top-three teams in the inaugural time-based Junior CD Lionhearter Challenge are:
1st: Xishan Primary School
2nd: Anchor Green Primary School
3rd: Yu Neng Primary School
Students from these schools have proven their proficiency in first aid, fire safety and knowledge of Total Defence.