RECEIVING the Special Service Shield award has strengthened cadet Loke Heng Hup’s dedication towards serving the community for the past 10 years.
The award from St John Ambulance Malaysia (SJAM) Penang was given to Loke for serving the community for over 1,000 hours. Fewer than five people have received the award in Penang over the past 10 years.
The 20-year-old Disted college student said it was in his nature to help others since young, making him realise that SJAM was his calling once he heard about them.
“As the only member in my family to join SJAM, my family was reluctant and worried that I was spending too much time there.
“I explained to them that other than school, me spending my time there was a good thing as it was productive and for a good cause,” he said when met at the Cadet Special Service Shield Presentation Ceremony held at the SJAM Penang headquarters in Grove Road on Sunday.
Asked about his most memorable experience as a cadet, Loke said it would be when he was on stand-by for 48 hours during the Hari Raya celebrations in 2013.
“There were many accidents during that period. I remember our team did not have time to rest at all, but it was worth it as we provided aid to those in need.”
Loke, who aspires to become a nurse, then gave words of wisdom to the new cadets as he urged them to concentrate on their studies first and then on becoming a good cadet.
Sixty other cadets were also awarded shields for various hours of service.
Some 220 new cadets from 10 secondary schools in Penang were also inducted into SJAM during the 9th Annual Cadet Day held the same day.
SJAM Penang north-east area commander Dr Lee Toong Chow said that there were more students enrolling in SJAM as their parents were aware of how beneficial it was for their children.
“We are also aiming to create more public awareness and educate the public on how to save lives by teaching them CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) as it will help to prevent deaths that can be prevented.”