Helping the vulnerable through first aid

Despite having a vastly different day job, Danny Koh finds fulfilment through volunteering and putting first aid skills into practice in the community.

How does volunteering in a cause we are passionate about but vastly different from our career paths, enrich our lives?

Danny Koh, 49, a full-time Human Resource Manager who is an avid volunteer with the Singapore Red Cross (SRC) since 2000, has the answer to the query.

Though both his day job and volunteering are similar because they both deal with people, he found intrinsic fulfilment in volunteering as he puts his first aid skills into practice to help people in need. 

Serving the community through first aid 

Driven by his passion for first aid, Danny embarked on his volunteering journey 21 years ago by leveraging his first aid skills to help the vulnerable while enhancing community resilience. He has not looked back since. As part of SRC's First Aider on Wheels (FAOW), he cycles along East Coast Park and Pulau Ubin over weekends to provide first aid to park-goers in need. As FAOW’s Coordinator, Danny identifies and trains potential Team Leaders and Deputy Team Leaders to take up leadership roles while sourcing for volunteers for each shift. Danny also assists in the deployment of volunteers in large-scale national events such as Chingay Parades and National Day Parades.

As the Vice-President for Red Cross Club @ South West (RCC@SW) district and Chairperson for Community First Aid Workgroup for RCC@SW, Danny meets community partners to organise and plan first aid related events and activities for RCC@SW. Armed with a myriad of experiences in first aid and managing large scale-events, Danny has been an asset to his team. Some events he participated in while volunteering with RCC@SW were ‘Health Carnival’, ‘I Jio You Race’, ‘West Coast Rock’ and ‘West Coast On Wheels’. The COVID-19 Pandemic did not deter him from going all out to serve the community. He distributed masks and sanitisers to vulnerable groups amid COVID-19.

Like any meaningful journey, Danny’s volunteering story includes challenges he faced as a veteran first aider. 

“The most difficult part of performing first aid on casualties is to calm them down. For seniors, I communicate with them in their dialect or preferred language,” he pointed out.

Danny recounted providing first aid to a person who sustained a bad forehead injury after stumbling on a wire cable on the floor and hitting the edge of metallic signage at the opening of West Coast Community Club in 2018.

Finding fulfilment through volunteering

Danny also fondly remembered some rewarding and fulfilling moments when residents came forward to thank him for his service whenever he was deployed. 

“After providing first aid treatments to West Coast Community Club’s (CC) residents and working with the CC for many events, the residents recognise me whenever I am at West Coast. Minister S. Iswaran, Member of Parliament for West Coast GRC, thanked us personally at every event,” he shared.

Danny has also found meaning in his volunteering journey, especially when serving the community while building strong friendships with his fellow volunteers.

“Whenever people approached me and asked me about volunteering with the Singapore Red Cross, I would share my volunteering experiences with them. I also told them that volunteering is fulfilling as they can help those in need while meeting new people from all walks of life,” he affirmed. 

To conclude, Danny urged volunteers to adopt a balanced lifestyle by ensuring that their priorities are kept in check prior to committing to volunteer work. 

“If you are a student, focus on your studies, spend time with your loved ones, then commit to volunteer work if you have the time. In that way, you can achieve a balanced lifestyle. The same goes for working adults. Work and loved ones come first before volunteering.”

By Shayene Gilflores Winfred, Volunteer
Edited by Jolyn Lee, Volunteer

 

First Aiders on Wheels patrol along the East Coast Park every weekend and on public holidays, to provide first aid to park-goers in need. Find out more. Volunteer with us.