More calls made to SCDF last year, but fewer were fire-related

Singapore Civil Defence Force personnel in a Red Rhino at Sentosa’s first fire station, on Sept 7, 2016.
Singapore Civil Defence Force personnel in a Red Rhino at Sentosa’s first fire station, on Sept 7, 2016. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The number of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) calls increased last year but fire-related calls dipped to a 38-year low.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) responded to 178,154 EMS calls in 2016, about 7.4 per cent more than the 165,853 calls the previous year, said the agency in a press conference on Friday (Feb 17) to announce last year's fire, ambulance and enforcement statistics.

This worked out to more than 480 calls a day, and the number of 995 calls involving those aged 65 and above remained the highest among all age categories (39.4 per cent) last year.

Despite the high volume of calls, SCDF responded to 87.1 per cent of these cases within 11 minutes in 2016 - an improvement from 84.9 per cent in 2015.

This was partly attributed to the addition of five private emergency ambulances to their existing fleet of 55.


GRAPHIC: SINGAPORE CIVIL DEFENCE FORCE

In 2016, there were 159,356 emergency calls - 75.3 per cent were medical-related such as chest pain and cardiac arrest, 17.9 per cent were trauma cases like industrial accidents and assaults, and the remaining 6.8 per cent were related to road traffic accidents.

Non-emergency calls and false alarms made up 10.6 per cent of all the '995' calls.

Of the total number of EMS calls, 4,114 were fire-related - the lowest number of such calls since 1978. Last year's figures saw a dip of 10.6 per cent as compared to 4,604 fire-related calls in 2015.


GRAPHIC: SINGAPORE CIVIL DEFENCE FORCE

Rubbish chute and bin fires decreased by 6.6 per cent between 2015 and 2016, but continued to make up the bulk of fires at residential premises with 1,444 cases.

There were 430 cases of fires started by unattended cooking and 345 cases of fires involving discarded items.

The SCDF also noticed an increasing trend in the number of fires caused by batteries of electrical bicycles, personal mobility devices and power banks and cautioned against faulty electrical circuitry and the overcharging of batteries which could spark a fire.


Close-up view of the burnt e-bicycle battery. PHOTO: SINGAPORE CIVIL DEFENCE FORCE

Last year, there were 62 fire injuries - involving smoke inhalation and burns - a decrease of 44.1 per cent from 111 in 2015. There was also one fire fatality compared to seven fatalities in 2015.


Fire and smoke damage sustained in the living room. PHOTO: SINGAPORE CIVIL DEFENCE FORCE