Club to widen pool of life-savers
SWIMMERS can take their skills one step further with the set-up of a new club that teaches members how to rescue people from drowning, resuscitate them and apply first aid.
The North West Life Saving Club will also teach swimmers how to conduct an underwater search, among other aspects.
It is the first life-saving club set up by a Community Development Council (CDC) here.
Weekly classes will kick off at Yishun Swimming Complex by the end of this month, with plans to expand to Woodlands Swimming Complex as more people sign up, a spokesman for North West CDC told My Paper.
With the ubiquity of swimming pools, such as in condominiums, as well as the popularity of water sports like canoeing, many people are involved in water activities, she noted.
Accidents may happen "anytime, anywhere", she added.
Hence, the North West Life Saving Club aims to help train more qualified life-savers who can act promptly when an emergency occurs.
Dr Teo Ho Pin, mayor of North West District, said in a statement: "Saving lives is a collective responsibility and it starts with you and me."
He is a life-saving instructor who co-founded the University Lifeguard Corps in 1982, when he was studying at the National University of Singapore.
He is currently chairman of the National Water Safety Council, which implements water safety, swimming and water-related sports programmes.
Classes at the new club will be taught by certified life-savers from the Singapore Life Saving Society, a non-profit organisation.
Participants pay $230 for the preliminary module, and $350 for the standard module.
A module has 10 classes, each lasting two hours.
The North West CDC will reimburse half of the course fee to those who complete and pass the course with at least 80 per cent class attendance.
Everyone is entitled to one such reimbursement.
Participants who pass the life-saving exams for the preliminary module will be given Lifesaving 123 badges and certificates issued by the Singapore Life Saving Society.
They can then go on to take the standard module, if they wish.
Only Singaporeans and permanent residents living in the North West District can join the club.
They must be at least 17 years old, and be able to swim at least 200m using a recognised stroke - such as breaststroke or freestyle.
People with back or knee problems may not be suitable for the classes, which involve the carrying of heavy objects.
"Besides drowning cases, life-saving knowledge can be helpful in a seemingly safe environment," said the North West CDC spokesman.
"For example, someone experiencing a leg cramp or dizziness may be unable to swim or stay afloat, and will benefit from professional assistance," she added.