SCDF ambulances are under strain

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PNGMK
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SCDF ambulances are under strain

Post by PNGMK » Tue, 19 Oct 2021 8:35 am

My son is an EMT now. Every shift is full on. 7 calls over 12 hours and often over time. In the old days it was 4 calls. Try not to call 995 unless you really need it. Also the call outs are getting longer due to stretched services. You may end up waiting for an ambulance to cross half the island to get to you. They only go back now to the station to get diesel and more supplies.

Also remember when you call 995 you'll get a 2 NS boys and a single Paramedic to take care of you. The EMTs have all of 3 months training and the Paramedic 1 year. Do you really want to be in the back of an ambulance with a 19 yo NSman if there are other options?

His stories are both inspiring and sad.

All of his cardiac arrest cases have been old men on their own in rental flats in squalor.

A case yesterday of a 80 yo uncle who choked on his food and the maid (his only companion) didn't know how to clear the air way. So dead when my son got there his feet and hands were already in rigor mortis.

Sticking an IV in the back of an ambulance at 130kph on the CTE. Alarms screaming. Patient projectile vomiting (vomiting is a unknown but common issue with heart problems). Ride so rough that even my son was ill. Patient made it.

Road traffic accidents involving huge amounts of blood. He never could handle blood but now routinely washes down bloody gear without a second thought.

Two great examples of Singaporeans contrasted.

Atas lady calling for an ambulance for a graze. Refusing conveyancing when told it will involve a $247 charge for non emergency.

Student nurse calling for help. She had, by the time they arrived, rendered first aid to a head injury caused by someone falling using bandages a bystander got from a nearby clinic. Patient was cleaned up, calm and stable when my son arrived.

Take care of your health. You'll be rescued by 3 strapping Malay lads if not. (They are ALL Malay or mixed race).

I'm extremely proud of him. I find it astonishing some parents want their sons to miss out on an experience like this.
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Re: SCDF ambulances are under strain

Post by BBCDoc » Tue, 19 Oct 2021 1:54 pm

Very glad to hear your son being put through such a tremendous experience.

He can only come out of this with positive growth in his character and attitude.

Hope he will find inspiration to pursue a solid career down the line that will benefit society. More than happy to help point some directions if he sticks around in healthcare.


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Re: SCDF ambulances are under strain

Post by malcontent » Thu, 21 Oct 2021 10:41 pm

Can anyone explain to me why ambulances in Singapore will turn on their lights and siren, and then stop and wait patiently at the red light? It just blows my mind!
It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters ~ Epictetus

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Re: SCDF ambulances are under strain

Post by BBCDoc » Fri, 22 Oct 2021 6:37 am

The patient may be dead already…what’s the rush?




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Re: SCDF ambulances are under strain

Post by PNGMK » Fri, 22 Oct 2021 6:52 am

malcontent wrote:
Thu, 21 Oct 2021 10:41 pm
Can anyone explain to me why ambulances in Singapore will turn on their lights and siren, and then stop and wait patiently at the red light? It just blows my mind!
They don't on urgent cases (P1) according to my son. Must be a lower priority.
I not lawyer/teacher/CPA.
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Re: SCDF ambulances are under strain

Post by malcontent » Fri, 22 Oct 2021 11:10 am

PNGMK wrote:
Fri, 22 Oct 2021 6:52 am
malcontent wrote:
Thu, 21 Oct 2021 10:41 pm
Can anyone explain to me why ambulances in Singapore will turn on their lights and siren, and then stop and wait patiently at the red light? It just blows my mind!
They don't on urgent cases (P1) according to my son. Must be a lower priority.
Then why do they keep their emergency lights flashing if it’s not an urgent case? I thought the whole point of switching on the lights and siren is to signal to others that the vehicle needs to be given priority?

By switching them on when it’s not urgent, it’s like the boy who cried wolf… the public learns to ignore it and they don’t even bother to get give way anymore… the lights become meaningless if “abused” in this way.

When the lights are on and the siren is going in the US, people know it could be life or death and will immediately make way, because it won’t be switched on unless it’s a genuine emergency.

So I am still completely perplexed.
It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters ~ Epictetus

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Re: SCDF ambulances are under strain

Post by PNGMK » Fri, 22 Oct 2021 11:18 am

I believe it's a warning that the ambulance may move off unexpectedly. It's only recently that Ambulances (and only SCDF) were legally permitted to run red lights. It may be a hang over SOP from then.
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Re: SCDF ambulances are under strain

Post by malcontent » Fri, 22 Oct 2021 11:43 am

PNGMK wrote:
Fri, 22 Oct 2021 11:18 am
It's only recently that Ambulances (and only SCDF) were legally permitted to run red lights.
That is crazy!

I guess that’s why I’ve often heard it said here that getting in a taxi is often a better bet if you need to get to the hospital fast.

US ambulance drivers are all trained to do whatever it takes to get you from point A to point B as quickly and safely as possible. They can drive off the road, jump the curb and drive on the sidewalk if need be. No traffic rules apply, but they still drive safely - using good snap judgements - at least you can be confident that they are doing their utmost and giving you the best shot of saving your life.
It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters ~ Epictetus

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Re: SCDF ambulances are under strain

Post by PNGMK » Fri, 22 Oct 2021 1:56 pm

Malcontent - I agree.

Specifically if you have a heart issue get a taxi or someone to drive you to SGH or NUH. No where else.

Don't wait for SCDF. And don't use a private ambulance. My GP says if you have a heart attack get to the NHCS at SGH if at all possible. If not there, then NUH.

My neighbor upstairs passed on 9/11. His daughter asked her boss (she's in a clinic) to visit. Doc visits - says "your dad is having heart issues - call ambulance". They call a PRIVATE ambulance who take him to Raffles (which has no cardiac unit) - Raffles try to stabilize him while Raffles call SCDF to get him to SGH 's cardiac unit but sadly he passed away in Raffles.

For your info SCDF classify all heart issues as P1 - lights, sirens, run red lights. However the reality is that they are over loaded. This is actually why the rich keep cars even though they sometimes rarely use them.

I'm now trying to convince the MC to get an AED put in to our condo lobby. It would have possibly saved my neighbour. We have many old people here too.
I not lawyer/teacher/CPA.
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Your rugrat needs a School? Avoid for profit schools
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Re: SCDF ambulances are under strain

Post by malcontent » Fri, 22 Oct 2021 3:13 pm

That is really good information ^^^

Possibly, life saving!
It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters ~ Epictetus

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Re: SCDF ambulances are under strain

Post by Lisafuller » Fri, 22 Oct 2021 4:16 pm

malcontent wrote:
Thu, 21 Oct 2021 10:41 pm
Can anyone explain to me why ambulances in Singapore will turn on their lights and siren, and then stop and wait patiently at the red light? It just blows my mind!
Ambulances are only allowed to run red lights in the event of a life-threatening emergency, such as cardiac arrest or stroke.

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Re: SCDF ambulances are under strain

Post by Lisafuller » Fri, 22 Oct 2021 4:20 pm

PNGMK wrote:
Fri, 22 Oct 2021 1:56 pm
Malcontent - I agree.

Specifically if you have a heart issue get a taxi or someone to drive you to SGH or NUH. No where else.

Don't wait for SCDF. And don't use a private ambulance. My GP says if you have a heart attack get to the NHCS at SGH if at all possible. If not there, then NUH.

My neighbor upstairs passed on 9/11. His daughter asked her boss (she's in a clinic) to visit. Doc visits - says "your dad is having heart issues - call ambulance". They call a PRIVATE ambulance who take him to Raffles (which has no cardiac unit) - Raffles try to stabilize him while Raffles call SCDF to get him to SGH 's cardiac unit but sadly he passed away in Raffles.

For your info SCDF classify all heart issues as P1 - lights, sirens, run red lights. However the reality is that they are over loaded. This is actually why the rich keep cars even though they sometimes rarely use them.

I'm now trying to convince the MC to get an AED put in to our condo lobby. It would have possibly saved my neighbour. We have many old people here too.
So interesting, I had no idea! I was always under the impression that all hospitals in Singapore had a cardiac unit.

My condo has had AEDs all around the estate for quite some time now, luckily they’ve never needed to be used. The management even held free classes to teach residents how to operate the AEDs which I thought was a great initiative.

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Re: SCDF ambulances are under strain

Post by Lisafuller » Fri, 22 Oct 2021 4:27 pm

malcontent wrote:
Fri, 22 Oct 2021 11:10 am
PNGMK wrote:
Fri, 22 Oct 2021 6:52 am
malcontent wrote:
Thu, 21 Oct 2021 10:41 pm
Can anyone explain to me why ambulances in Singapore will turn on their lights and siren, and then stop and wait patiently at the red light? It just blows my mind!
They don't on urgent cases (P1) according to my son. Must be a lower priority.
Then why do they keep their emergency lights flashing if it’s not an urgent case? I thought the whole point of switching on the lights and siren is to signal to others that the vehicle needs to be given priority?

By switching them on when it’s not urgent, it’s like the boy who cried wolf… the public learns to ignore it and they don’t even bother to get give way anymore… the lights become meaningless if “abused” in this way.

When the lights are on and the siren is going in the US, people know it could be life or death and will immediately make way, because it won’t be switched on unless it’s a genuine emergency.

So I am still completely perplexed.
As long as there is a patient on board, there is an urgent need to get to the hospital. Even if the case is not life-threatening, the goal is to get there as soon as possible.

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Re: SCDF ambulances are under strain

Post by Lisafuller » Fri, 22 Oct 2021 4:28 pm

BBCDoc wrote:
Fri, 22 Oct 2021 6:37 am
The patient may be dead already…what’s the rush?

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Is that not the very point of rushing? The way I see it, rush or end up dead.

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Re: SCDF ambulances are under strain

Post by PNGMK » Fri, 22 Oct 2021 4:39 pm

SCDF do not transport already dead people, the police coroner and casket services do that.

Every patient in an ambulance is assumed to be alive at the start of the journey but DOA does happen ("flatline")
I not lawyer/teacher/CPA.
You've been arrested? Law Society of Singapore can provide referrals.
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