Forum: SCDF ambulances do not have to wait for Traffic Police

We refer to Madam Teo Geok Har's letter (Why wait for police to clear road for ambulance?, March 25).

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) received a call about a motor vehicle accident along Upper Changi Road East on March 23 at 6.45am. An ambulance was dispatched, and it arrived at the accident scene six minutes later.

Upon arrival, the SCDF ambulance crew found three casualties - a motorcyclist, and the driver and a passenger of a car. None of the casualties had serious or life-threatening injuries. An SCDF paramedic assessed that the motorcyclist required attention first as he had sustained lacerations to his lower limbs, while the other two had minor injuries.

The paramedic took the motorcyclist into the ambulance to treat his injuries and stabilise his condition.

The paramedic then attended to the other two casualties, and determined that they would not need to be sent to hospital. The SCDF ambulance then conveyed the motorcyclist to Changi General Hospital, before the Traffic Police arrived on the scene. The SCDF ambulance crew was not waiting for the Traffic Police.

Madam Teo is right to point out that those with life-threatening injuries should be sent to the hospital as soon as possible. In this case, the paramedic made the appropriate decision to attend to all the casualties at the site of the accident, after determining the condition of the casualties.

We would also like to clarify that SCDF ambulances do not have to wait for the arrival of Traffic Police officers on scene before conveying casualties of road traffic accidents to the hospital.

Leslie Williams (Col)

Deputy Director, Corporate Communications Department

Singapore Civil Defence Force

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 30, 2020, with the headline 'SCDF ambulances do not have to wait for Traffic Police'. Print Edition | Subscribe