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General

Information on SCDF and 1777 Medical Services

Purpose of the SCDF Emergency Medical Service

The SCDF operates a 24-hour Emergency Medical Service (EMS), which is ready to respond to any medical emergency throughout Singapore. Each SCDF emergency ambulance is manned by a team of 3 SCDF officers comprising a paramedic and two Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT). The ambulance crew is well trained and equipped to handle a wide range of medical emergencies.

 

In an emergency, every second counts. If someone is seriously injured in an accident or suddenly collapses, the victim could have serious medical complications if he does not receive prompt medical attention and treatment.

 

The speedy arrival of an emergency ambulance could mean the difference between life and death for a seriously injured or ill person. EMS should therefore be called only for medical emergencies. Calling 995 for non-medical emergencies could cost lives.

 

 


If There is an Emergency

When there is an emergency on hand, dial 995 to call for an SCDF ambulance.

 

If there is a Non-Emergency

When a case is a non-emergency, the SCDF EMS should not be used. Every non-emergency case that SCDF attends to takes away its ability to respond to another critical case immediately. For cases which do not require emergency response, callers are advised to seek outpatient treatment at nearby clinics, or a hospital, using their own transport, or the public transport system.

 

Alternatively, dial 1777 for a non-SCDF ambulance.

 

Emergency Medical Service Response Framework

The new EMS Response framework was officially introduced out on 1 April 2017. The EMS Response framework prioritises 995 calls based on the severity of patients’ medical conditions. Such telephone medical triaging will allow the SCDF to deploy resources matching the seriousness of each call.

 

Here are the categories of EMS calls:-


Which Hospital will Patient be Conveyed to?

The SCDF ambulance will convey all emergency cases to the nearest and designated restructured hospital with the appropriate medical facility.This is to facilitate the early treatment by the hospital's doctor and to enable the ambulance to be made available for the next emergency call at the shortest possible time.

 

 


SCDF Ambulance Charges

The SCDF does not charge for any emergency cases it conveys to hospitals. However, $274 will be charged for each non-emergency case that SCDF conveys to hospital.

 

Note: The final outcome of the emergency / non-emergency status of a patient will be based on the assessment of the doctor at the Emergency Department of the receiving hospital

 

 


1777 Non-Emergency Ambulance Charges

View the capabilities and basic charges of the list of 1777 Private Ambulance Operators

Note: Charges are subjected to additional costs that will be informed by the Private ambulance Operators to the caller/patient

 

 


Telephone Medical Triaging

A critical driver to the effectiveness of the EMS Response framework is the ability of the SCDF 995 Operations Call Centre specialists to conduct effective telephone medical triaging, that is to accurately classify each EMS call based on its severity. Since 1st April 2017, the public has been asked to provide pertinent information on the patient’s condition when they call 995 for EMS assistance. The cooperation of the caller in providing such information during an emergency is critical for the EMS Response to achieve its desired efficacy.

 

The telephone medical triaging process at the 995 Operations Call Centre is aided by the Advanced Medical Protocol System (AMPS). The AMPS is an IT system that is specially developed by a team of SCDF and Ministry of Health (MOH) emergency medicine doctors for triaging a patient’s case acuity.

 

 


What do I Tell the 995 Control Room Operator?

To facilitate a faster response to the patient, the 995 caller should do the following:

  • Identify yourself and provide a telephone contact number.
  • Provide the location and specific address or nearest prominent landmark of the patient found.
  • Describe the patient's signs and symptoms briefly with the help of a list of guided questions e.g. male, Chinese, age 67 years, having severe chest pain since 2 minutes ago, breathless sweating.
  • Hang up the telephone only after the "995" Operations Call Centre Specialist does so.
  • Send somebody to wait for the ambulance crew e.g. by holding the lift if necessary, and directing the ambulance crew to the patient.
  • Standby to assist if required.

 

 


5 Common Misconceptions That Contribute To The Abuse Of The SCDF Emergency Medical Service

Myth: Patients arriving in SCDF emergency ambulances need not pay
Truth: If a case attended to by the SCDF is deemed to be a non-emergency by its paramedics, the patient will have to pay an ambulance fee of $274.
 
Myth: Patients can request SCDF emergency ambulances to send them to any hospital of their choice.
Truth: SCDF emergency ambulances will only convey patients to the nearest designated restructured hospitals so that they can receive immediate medical attention.
 
Myth: Patients arriving in SCDF emergency ambulances receive priority treatment at the A & E Department
Truth: ALL patients arriving at A & E Department will be assessed by the medical staff at the hospital. Those assessed as critical will be attended to first, followed by non-emergency cases.
 
Myth: Patients arriving in SCDF emergency ambulances receive priority treatment at the A & E Department
Truth: ALL patients arriving at A & E Department will be assessed by the medical staff at the hospital. Those assessed as critical will be attended to first, followed by non-emergency cases.
 
Myth: The new EMS response will result in a delay in SCDF medical response.
Truth: SCDF’s new Emergency Medical Service (EMS) response framework will improve the overall health outcomes of EMS users, by allowing our EMS resources to respond to life-threatening cases faster.
 
Myth: SCDF will not be able to properly assess the severity of the case that I called in for.
Truth: SCDF’s 995 Operations Call Centre specialists, supported by SCDF paramedics and staff nurses, are specially trained to assess the severity of cases and provide medical advice to callers before the arrival of SCDF responders.

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Last updated on 6th Jul 2017