Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Community spirit alive when an elderly citizen faints in bus

5th March 2013

Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew

Cc: PM Lee: For info as well.

Dear Mr Lui,

At  around  2pm  yesterday - Monday 4th March 2013 as I was travelling in Ang Mo Kio feeder bus 265, an elderly Chinese man suddenly fell down inside the bus while trying to make his way from the back of the bus to the front.  The bus had a sizeable crowd.  
Three of us - a Chinese lady in her 40s, an elderly Malay man and I tried to carry him up, but boy was he heavy. I guess when a person has fainted his body becomes soft and very heavy.  The old man was drooling and it was so pitiful seeing him in that state.
The SBS driver, an Indian, noticing the commotion, stopped the bus as it reached the bus interchange and seeing how we were struggling to carry the old man, moved quickly to the back of the bus, lifted him up; and with our help, managed to seat him down.  I was impressed with how the driver managed to lift him up. Obviously he was well trained by SBS.
The driver then made a distress call to the operation’s room at the interchange. Shortly afterward, a uniformed SBS Transit officer came up the bus. I asked the officer to ask him in Chinese the contact number of the elderly man’s family. The senior could not talk, but continued drooling. The officer decided to call for an ambulance, and commuters were asked to alight from the bus as this was an emergency.
I applaud the prompt action taken by the SBS driver because he might have just saved a life. Just as important was the community spirit that was very much alive during this incident. There were no barriers put up on race, language or religion. Help was given just like in the kampung days in the early years when everybody looked out for one another.  This is what I love to see. 
Let’s hope that the elderly citizen gets well soon.  He’s one of us – on this tiny island. And we will all get old and grey- one day.
We all need to be accompanied- whether coping with grief or in different passages of our lives.  And with a rapid ageing population, the community spirit needs to come alive - a programme which I hope the Singapore Government will continue to push for.

I would appreciate it if SBS Transit can be kept posted on the swift action taken by the SBS driver. He deserves to be commended as he was able to feel for any human being.
Thank you.
Raymond Anthony Fernando

From Transport Minister:

“Dear Mr Fernando,


Thank you for taking the time to write to share this incident with us and for the role that you played to help the elderly Chinese man when he fell. We need more commuters like you who are prepared to step forward and avail themselves when such incidents happen.

We will certainly keep SBS posted.”


Best wishes,


Lui Tuck Yew

6th March 2013



From SBS Transit:


Dear Mr Fernando

We received your compliments of our Bus Captain through the Land Transport Authority. We are pleased to know that our Bus Captain had been alert to react swiftly to the situation and was able to manage it well. It is wonderful to know that he has demonstrated the excellent CARES training that he had received from us.

We shall be sure to commend our Bus Captain and to share his good deed with his peers so that they can emulate him. We also wish to thank you for your kindness towards the elderly gentleman and the help that you had rendered towards him. It is indeed heartening to see the community coming together to show concern for another person in need of aid.

Once again, we thank you for your compliment and we wish you a pleasant weekend ahead.

Yours sincerely
Pauline Tan

Head, Customer Relations
SBS Transit

7th March 2013


Dear Mr Fernando
Compliment to a bus captain of Service 265
We are truly pleased to learn of your pleasant experience with the said bus captain while travelling on 4 March's afternoon.

We have conveyed your compliment to the said bus captain and also commended him for his prompt action and assistance rendered. He was also encouraged to keep up the good work for excellent service . On the other hand, we have also encouraged other bus captains to follow the good example of him.

We would like to thank you for your good efforts in sharing with us about your pleasant experience and such commendation will certainly spur our bus captains to perform even better. We also like to thank you and other fellow passengers for coming forward to assist the passenger in needs.

Looking forward to your continued support.

Yours sincerely

Loo Ing Heng
Customer Relations Manager
SBS Transit Ltd

21st March 2013


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