IT IS not every day that you get to save a life on the job.
But for Changi Airport Certis Cisco officers Nguyen Thi Tuyet Trang, 25, and Nur Hamzah Rahmat, 39, coming to a person’s rescue is within their job scope.
wAvSO II Nguyen, an aviation security officer, remembers responding to a scream for help when she saw a child choking in her mother’s arms and turning increasingly red in the face in the airport’s Terminal 2 last December.
Recalling a YouTube video on how to save a choking victim, she quickly applied the same technique on the girl. A piece of candy, which was the size of a 50-cent coin, finally got dislodged from her throat.
“There were claps from the crowd when the child started to breathe normally again,” she recalls.
As a parent, she understood the traumatic feelings of the child’s mother, who was so relieved that she gave wAvSO II Nguyen a heartfelt hug.
That incident led to wAvSO II Nguyen developing an interest in acquiring life-saving skills, so Certis Cisco trained her in first aid and she got certified to use automated external defibrillators (AED) and perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in emergency situations. She was also put on a leadership training course.
Her duties include taking on the role of an X-ray operator and leading a five-man team deployed at the centralised security screening area after the Departure Immigration at Terminal 4.
wAvSO II Nguyen and her colleagues have undergone comprehensive training to get used to the new technology-driven security screening equipment at the terminal, which is due to open next Tuesday.
She says: “I enjoy being part of the airport community. We work closely with one another to keep operations running, while keeping travellers safe and secure. The environment is also very conducive in enabling me to prove my capabilities to the management.”
Security comes first
AvSS Hamzah, an assistant shift executive, recalls an incident in 2013 when he and a colleague carried out a two-man CPR procedure to revive a woman who had fainted at the airport. He even helped to carry her on a stretcher to where the ambulance was waiting.
Like wAvSO II Nguyen, he relishes gaining more security knowledge through the in-service training and courses he attends on topics such as leadership and customer service.
Currently, with the Certis Cisco Security Screening Unit (CSSU) at Terminal 2, he leads one of three main teams based there.
His primary responsibility is security screening for pre-boarding at the terminal.
He also ensures that his officers — about 60 of them — fulfil their course requirements and that there is enough manpower to run the operations each day.
This is especially challenging during festive seasons, as all gates at the airport must be manned to avoid delays that would impact flight schedules and incur costs.
Another challenge is impressing upon his officers the importance of being vigilant as they are the last line of defence at the airport, says AvSS Hamzah.
Nevertheless, he enjoys his work as he gets to meet all types of people from around the world and even pick up other languages on the job.
“Knowing that I make a difference in ensuring the safety of all passengers gives me a great sense of satisfaction,” he adds.