Hello, 995? I have a headache...

Examples from a list of weird calls that the Singapore Civil Defence Force has received include a person who had a toothache and another who asked for an ambulance due to sore eyes.
Examples from a list of weird calls that the Singapore Civil Defence Force has received include a person who had a toothache and another who asked for an ambulance due to sore eyes.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A man called 995 because he was unable to urinate after drinking beer, while another called to try to get a lift to hospital for a blood test.

These were among the emergency calls that the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) has received, said Mr Amrin Amin, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs and Health.

In a Facebook post on Saturday morning (Oct 13), Mr Amrin said he had asked SCDF for a list of weird calls that they received on 995, and posted five examples.

The other calls include a person who had a toothache and another who asked for an ambulance due to sore eyes.

Mr Amrin, who is also an MP for Sembawang GRC, said: "995 is for serious, life-threatening emergencies. A minute can make a difference between life and death.

"When an ambulance attends to a non-emergency case, someone with a severe condition, such as cardiac arrest, could be deprived of much-needed medical help."

For cases that are not emergencies, members of the public can go to a clinic or call 1777 for a non-emergency ambulance, said Mr Amrin.

Mr Amrin's post has attracted almost 500 likes and more than 370 shares in the four hours since it was uploaded.

 

The post comes after a 30-second video starring actress Michelle Chong was released by the SCDF earlier this month urging the public not to misuse 995 calls for non-emergency situations.

In the video, the actress plays a woman named Ah Lian, who makes an emergency call to 995 for a toothache. The officer on the line, also played by Chong, reminds her that those with non-emergency cases should go to the nearest clinic or call 1777 instead.

Non-emergency calls made up 6.2 per cent, or 11,384, of 995 calls last year, the SCDF said.

In 2016, the SCDF handled close to 180,000 emergency calls, of which almost 19,000 were false alarms and for non-urgent ailments such as constipation and chronic cough.