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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EMSWORLD.com | JULY 2018 17 The SFB handled all EMS requests and dis- patches from then on. The 1980s creation of the Singapore Civil Defense Force (SCDF) led to EAS being absorbed into the SCDF in a bid to create a fully integrated approach to national defense and health protection. Which brings us to a question: Why is Singapore's EMS called Civil Defense? The answer has to do with the city-state's history. "The original organization was actually called 'Civil Defense Sheltering,'" explains Col. Yih Yng Ng, MBBS, chief medical officer of the SCDF's medical department. (Shel- tering refers to provisioning shelters for the protection of civilians during manmade and natural disasters.) "They were big during the world war, when they had such needs. After World War II receded, it still was the biggest organization (in Singapore)." When Singapore merged its civil defense agency with the fire department/EMS, the latter was the smaller of the two. So "the name Civil Defense remained even though over time, as the roles of sheltering disap- peared, firefighting was more important," says Ng. "The organization eventually became known for firefighting, but for tra- ditional reasons they still call it the Singapore Civil Defense Force." During the early 1990s, the need to reach patients more quickly led to the creation of a motorcycle-based fast-response medic (FRM) unit. As the name suggests, the FRMs are equipped with first responder equipment loaded onto motorbikes, allowing them to race down streets too congested to let van-based ambulances through. "The FRM scheme was associated with a reduction of mean response time from 15 to 8 minutes," noted the PEC article. In 1997 Singapore hired the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC), a leading Canadian public safety educator, to teach the country's paramedics through an educational franchise program. "At that point we didn't have the expertise to start a paramedic program our- selves," says Ng. "We sent our initial group For More Information Circle 18 on Reader Service Card Republic of Singapore: Fast Facts • Capital: Singapore • Population: 5.6 million • Area: 660 sq km • Major languages: English, Malay, Man- darin, Tamil • Major religions: Taoism, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, Hinduism • EMS Infrastructure: 19 land fire stations; 2 marine stations; 27 fire posts • SCDF Ambulances: 65 Nominate a First Responder Unit or Individual and Your Corp Could WIN $5000 in Dynarex Products SUBMIT YOUR NOMINATION AT: https://bit.ly/2xykx8V Participate in Dynarex's 2 nd Annual FIRST RESPONDER CARING AWARD NOMINATIONS CLOSE FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2018 © 2018 Dynarex Corporation

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