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Two bus workers awarded by SCDF for life-saving efforts at Sembawang Bus Interchange

In a remarkable act of heroism, Muhamad Nasran Jafar, a Tower Transit Singapore bus driver, and supervisor Naveen Ruthven received the Community First Responder Award from the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF).

They were honored for their life-saving actions, which occurred on January 2 at Sembawang Bus Interchange. Mr. Nasran initiated CPR, reflecting his commitment to saving lives, while Mr. Naveen played a crucial role in this effort.



SINGAPORE: In a remarkable act of heroism, Mr. Muhamad Nasran Jafar, a Tower Transit Singapore bus driver, and interchange supervisor Naveen Ruthven were honored with the Community First Responder Award by the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) for their life-saving actions on Aug 17.

The incident occurred on the morning after New Year’s Day (Jan 2) at Sembawang Bus Interchange.

Mr. Nasran observed a disturbance near a public restroom and hurried to the location, where he encountered Mr. Naveen tending to an elderly man in his seventies, who appeared unconscious and in a state of distress.

The elderly, heavyset man was slumped against one of the cubicle doors, his face blue and pale, and the 43-year-old knew instantly he could not stand idly by.

Without hesitation, Mr. Nasran, a former private ambulance driver, began performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) for a grueling 10 minutes while awaiting paramedics.

Tragically, despite their efforts, the elderly man passed away a day later.

Recalling the incident, Mr. Nasran stated, “There was only one thing in my mind at the time; this man deserved a second chance,” reflecting his unwavering commitment to saving a life.

Supervisor Naveen Ruthven played a crucial role in this lifesaving effort.

He discovered the unresponsive man and immediately sought assistance from Mr. Nasran.

“I freaked out a bit, and then I checked for breathing and pulse,” Mr. Naveen, 38, said, adding that he wanted to move the man out of the cubicle, but was worried he would fall if he tried to do it on his own.

It was then that he saw Mr. Nasran and asked him for help.

After the bus driver started CPR, Mr. Naveen called the SCDF, alerted Tower Transit Singapore’s bus operations control center, and managed the gathering crowd of onlookers.

Mr. Naveen said the incident brought back memories of how he was not able to be at his father’s funeral in Malaysia due to Covid-19 travel restrictions at the time.

“I wanted to know whether the uncle was okay,” he said.

“We only found out he died when we got the (SCDF) award.”

The recognition from SCDF highlights the exceptional dedication and bravery displayed by these two Tower Transit Singapore employees.

Mr. Glenn Lim, the director of communications and customer experience at Tower Transit Singapore, expressed the company’s pride in their actions, emphasizing that their heroism deserved recognition not only within the organization but also in the broader community.

“We felt that their actions deserved the appropriate recognition, not just in Tower Transit, but also in the community,” he said.

For Mr. Nasran, the demanding 10-minute CPR effort that day exacted a toll on his physical well-being.

He took a brief respite before resuming his bus driving responsibilities later in the day.

“My hands and arms were numb. My knees too. It took about half an hour before I recovered,” he shared.

While both Mr. Nasran and Mr. Naveen possessed first-aid training, neither had previously encountered a case of cardiac arrest.

Mr. Naveen reflected, “It is good to know some basic knowledge – what are the important things to look out for,” he said.

Emotionally overwhelmed, Mr. Nasran expressed surprise at receiving recognition from the SCDF, as he had not anticipated any form of reward.

He conveyed, “I told my wife, and she said she is proud of me. It means a lot.”

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