995 operator insisted on getting postal code

On Tuesday, I was running in Bedok Reservoir when I came across someone on the ground, trying to get an ambulance from the 995 call centre.

He stopped me and handed his mobile phone to me.

I was then asked by the person on the other end of the line to provide the postal code of the location.

I informed her that the person was next to Forest Adventure at Bedok Reservoir, next to lamp post 97.

She again said she needed the postal code in order to dispatch the ambulance. I then asked whether she had Internet access, by way of which she could get the postal code of Forest Adventure.

Why could not the person handling the emergency call have been more flexible about getting information in a crucial situation?

With Singapore becoming an ageing society, not everybody will know information such as the postal code of the park they are at.

People manning emergency lines should be able to think, be flexible and react fast, to save lives.

I hope the relevant authority can relook the process and tweak the system.

Sia Chuan Han

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 03, 2018, with the headline '995 operator insisted on getting postal code'. Print Edition | Subscribe