995 calls

SCDF prioritises life-threatening emergencies

We thank Ms Tan Kexin for the feedback on Singapore Civil Defence Force's Emergency Medical Services (EMS) (995 operator said all ambulances out covering Covid-19 cases, Oct 7).

We understand the anxiety of Ms Tan and her family, and agree that every second counts during critical medical emergencies such as cardiac arrest, stroke and trauma. We have since spoken to Ms Tan about her concerns.

SCDF would like to assure the public that our EMS response prioritises life-threatening emergencies. Since 2017, SCDF has put in place the 995 call triaging system to assess and differentiate medical cases based on their severity. The system helps us better manage our resources by dispatching the most appropriate resources for each case.

The Covid-19 situation, however, has put a tremendous strain on our healthcare system, including SCDF's EMS. To ensure the safety of the patients we convey, we have introduced infection control measures for EMS, including decontaminating our ambulances after conveying every Covid-19 patient.

In addition, in the last three weeks, SCDF has seen an increase of about 35 per cent in the number of calls requiring EMS, from an average of about 550 calls a day to about 750 calls a day.

To address this, SCDF has implemented various measures to ensure that we continue to be able to respond swiftly to life-threatening emergencies.

SCDF would like to assure the public that we remain committed to attending to day-to-day medical emergencies, while helping the national effort to manage the Covid-19 situation.

Leslie Williams (Colonel)
Deputy Director, Corporate Communications
Singapore Civil Defence Force

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 14, 2021, with the headline 'SCDF prioritises life-threatening emergencies'. Subscribe