Allow video calls to emergency number

An ambulance of the Singapore Civil Defence Force.
An ambulance of the Singapore Civil Defence Force.PHOTO: SCDF

The response to 17,954 non-emergency and false-alarm calls to emergency number 995 represents the diversion of precious resources away from genuine emergency cases, disrupting the Singapore Civil Defence Force's (SCDF) core duty of saving lives (SCDF beefing up response to life-threatening emergencies, Feb 23).

However, some of these callers may simply be unsure whether their request for an ambulance is necessary.

To minimise such calls, people should be allowed to make video calls to 995, so the caller can show the SCDF operator live pictures of the scene, including, for example, the victim's wounds.

This will not only allow the operator to advise callers on whether the situation warrants an ambulance, but will also enable him to guide the caller on how to handle an emergency situation while waiting for the ambulance to arrive.

With this appropriate use of technology, the SCDF can ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of its operations.

Sim Mong Seng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 27, 2019, with the headline 'Allow video calls to emergency number'. Print Edition | Subscribe