Revised Personal Protection Equipment Requirements for SCDF Ambulance Crews
14 June 2020
From 15 June 2020, the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) will revise the personal protection equipment (PPE) requirements for SCDF ambulance personnel when attending to emergency calls. This is in view of the reduced number of COVID-19 cases in the community.
Since 7 February 2020, when the DORSCON alert level was raised to Orange, SCDF ambulance crews have been required to don enhanced PPE when attending to all ambulance calls. The enhanced PPE consists of an N95 mask, goggles and a full gown. Crew members with long hair were also required to don a bouffant cap.
With effect from 15 June 2020, SCDF ambulance personnel will continue to put on an N95 mask and goggles. They will only be required to don enhanced PPE when responding to cases either involving a known COVID-positive person; a person who is under quarantine or Stay-Home Notice; or a person who fits the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) suspect case
Other infection control measures such as the practice of strict hand hygiene and the decontamination of ambulances after conveying patients to the hospitals will continue to be implemented. This is to ensure the safety of SCDF ambulance personnel and patients.
“The decision to revise the PPE requirements for our ambulance personnel was made after careful consideration which has taken into account the reduced transmission risk in the community. All crew will still continue to wear N95 masks and goggles at all times while on duty to provide adequate protection from potential droplet spread of COVID-19 through the mucous membranes (eyes, nose, mouth) when they perform procedures such as CPR and airway management. The revised requirements will also reduce the risk of heat fatigue for ambulance crew who have to spend long hours in outdoor environments.”
– COL (Dr) Shalini Arulanandam, Chief Medical Officer, SCDF
SCDF will continue to further review and adjust PPE requirements for ambulance personnel as necessary.
Since 22 Jan 2020, SCDF emergency ambulances have conveyed 4,954 suspected COVID-19 cases and 58 of these suspected cases had later turned out to be COVID-19 positive (as at 12 Jun).