When the lift in an apartment block breaks down and the telephone number of the Essential Maintenance Service Unit (EMSU) is not available, the distraught people trapped in the lift will instinctively call 995.
The Singapore Civil Defence Force will then dispatch its firemen and paramedics to rescue the trapped people.
I am not sure the SCDF firefighters are trained in lift rescue operations, have access to the lift motor room, or are well-equipped with tools for opening landing and car doors properly and to bring the lift down to the nearest landing without causing any unnecessary damage to the lift.
When trapped in a lift, people should stay calm, press the alarm button in the lift continuously and wait for the lift mechanics to arrive. They are the experts.
Therefore, all lift cars should have the EMSU telephone number prominently displayed.
The emergency services should be called only for emergencies, that is fire and injury, to ensure that precious emergency resources are deployed where they are critically needed.
Loong Chik Tong