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SPF officers share experience on saving maid dangling from parapet; one had just been posted in for 1½ months

Just one and a half months into his national service posting, Special Constable Corporal Radiate Singh, 19, became embroiled in a dramatic rescue effort on Wednesday morning (Dec 6), saving a maid who was dangling on the parapet at Block 24, Bukit Panjang Ring Road.

This comes after the 24-year-old Myanmar maid accidentally locked herself in a room by mistake.

She subsequently climbed onto the window ledge in an attempt to make her way back onto the corridor, where she would be able to enter the flat via the main door. 

The incident was captured in a video. 

At one point in the video, the maid could be seen dangling midair from the parapet, as four officers from the Singapore Police Force (SPF) and a member of the public assisted to pull her up. 

Cpl Singh told The Straits Times: "It's not something I would have imagined seeing, but thankfully, we've had training to go through different scenarios and to deal with various cases."

Leading the team of four officers was Staff Sergeant Stanley Koh, 28, the first officer seen dashing forward to grab the maid’s arms in the video. 

Staff Sergeant Stanley Koh described the situation: "We weren't sure of the exact situation, so I observed from a distance as I did not want to agitate the subject and I approached with caution.”

It was only after he got closer did he notice the maid’s hands outside the railing.

He immediately ran forward to grab them.

Staff Sergeant Stanley Koh said: "I realised (the woman and I) couldn't pull her over, but within 15 seconds, the three other officers came."

The four officers — Staff Sgt Koh, Cpl Singh, Staff Sgt Chan Wai Hong, 27, and Sgt Prem Rengasamy, 28 — along with another resident from the same unit as the maid herself, managed to pull the victim to safety. 

Sgt Rengasamy shared about how he felt on the day of the incident: "There was an adrenaline rush, and the only thought I had was that she had to be saved, there was no second option."

After pulling her to safety, Sgt Rengasamy conversed with the maid in Tamil.

It was then the officers found out that it was not a suicide attempt. 

Staff Sgt Chan told reporters that officers have responded to similar incidents in the past, but in the case especially, time was of the essence. 

Said Staff Sgt Chan: "Because she was hanging there, (there was a chance that) in a few seconds, she wouldn't be able to hang on. Thankfully we reached (her) in time.”

Staff Sgt Koh added that the resident who aided in the rescue, a 35-year-old Jane, was equally shocked but relieved after the accident.