Off-duty SCDF officer and police friend help boy trapped in escalator
Lt Toh plays video to distract him while SCDF officers free his foot from escalator
She was about to catch a movie with a friend at VivoCity when they heard screaming.
Springing into action, the pair followed the noise and found a three-year-old boy whose left foot had become stuck in an escalator.
Recounting the incident which happened two Sundays ago, Lieutenant Jadyn Toh, 26, said her instincts as an officer from the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) kicked in.
"I called 995 and then contacted the operations centre to help direct my colleagues who were being dispatched to the scene," she said yesterday.
Her friend, who is from the Singapore Police Force, helped control the crowd that had formed.
Lt Toh said the boy was wailing and panicking because of the crowd surrounding him.
"I helped my police friend with crowd control and pushed away the onlookers who had begun crowding around to take photos and videos of the boy," she said.
"It is natural to want to know what is happening. But by crowding around, you are not helping because you are creating more distress for the people involved."
SCDF officers who were alerted to the incident at 2.20pm, soon arrived and established that they needed to extricate the boy's leg using a hydraulic rescue tool.
Lt Toh knew that the boy might panic more, so she tried to distract him.
She found out from the boy's mother that his favourite song was Baby Shark and played a video of it on her phone to divert his attention until he was freed.
He was taken to National University Hospital and discharged on the same day.
The boy's father, Mr Samuel Lee, who is in his late 30s, was holding his son with his left hand and his five-year-old daughter with his right as they stood on the descending escalator.
He said there was nothing unusual until his son became distressed, and he found that the child's foot had become stuck.
A relieved Mr Lee said the officers freed his son within 30 minutes.
"That moment will serve as a reminder for me, and possibly other parents, to be more careful," he told The New Paper.
"The memory of the incident is still traumatic, and I still cry when talking about it."
Fortunately, his son suffered only minor skin abrasions, pending a follow-up with a bone specialist.
Mr Lee thanked those who stepped forward to help, including Lt Toh.
He said: "To me, it was really a miracle, and I feel as if we were given a second chance."
Lt Toh and her friend ended up 30 minutes late for their movie, a Chinese film titled Love You Forever.
But missing part of a movie was a small price to pay to help someone in need.
"As officers from the Home Team, it is instinctive to step forward to do what we can even if we are off duty," she said.