EMS World

JUL 2018

EMS World Magazine is the most authoritative source in the world for clinical and educational material designed to improve the delivery of prehospital emergency medical care.

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16 JULY 2018 | EMSWORLD.com T he city-state of Singapore, south of Malaysia, has a population of 5.67 million squeezed into just 278 square miles. British diplomat/ administrator Sir Stamford Raffles founded Singapore on its island home in 1819 as part of the U.K.'s efforts to dominate trade in southeast Asia. Within two years Singapore's first hospital opened in a wooden shed to serve the garrison's soldiers. The Singapore General Hospital remains in business today, a modern, cutting-edge institution. History of Singapore EMS Although patients had been taken to the hos- pital in various ways for decades, Singapore's first official ambulance was acquired in 1917. It was a stately white vehicle that looked like a limousine crossed with a cargo truck. This ambulance was to be located at the Sin- gapore Road General Hospital, but major renovations there led to it being placed at the central fire station instead. Unfortunately, "The drawbacks of the hospital-based ambulance service were long response times and a lack of field-related paramedic training," reported the authors of "Prehospital Trauma Care in Singapore," pub- lished in the journal Prehospital Emergency Care in 2015. 1 To resolve this problem, in 1928 the Singapore Fire Brigade (SFB) "started an ambulance service in parallel, to transport cases that resulted from road traffic acci- dents and fire incidents." The SFB ambulance service had two vehicles of its own. Following the devastating Japanese occu- pation of World War II and the city-state's rebuilding, emergency medical services in Singapore remained relatively small and nar- rowly defined. But by 1960 Singapore had two ambulance services in operation. The first was managed by Singapore General Hospital and reserved for medical emergencies; the second was operated by the SFB and only responded to accidents and fire casualties. Things changed in 1977, when the services were combined into the single Emergency Ambulatory Service (EAS) under the SFB. Singapore's Long Journey Toward Cutting-Edge Care The Asian city-state has fielded ambulance services for more than 100 years By James Careless EMS AROUND THE WORLD

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