Published: 07 July 2022
Mr Ray Chou, Country Head, Ninja Van Singapore;
Deputy Commissioner Teong How Hwa, Deputy Commissioner (Strategy and Corporate Services), SCDF;
Mr Ng Chee Kiang, Chief Executive Officer, COSEM Safety & Security Services Pte Ltd;
Ms Yeo Wan Ling, Advisor, National Delivery Champions Association, National Private Hire Vehicles Association, and National Taxi Association;
Mr Vernon Kang, Chief Executive Officer, Singapore Heart Foundation; and
Mr Mark Shaw, Chairman, National Fire and Emergency Preparedness Council;
Ladies and Gentlemen;
1. A very good afternoon to everyone. First and foremost, let me congratulate the SCDF and Ninja Van for establishing this partnership today, for which I am very, very happy to share and to be here to launch.
2. Today represents a significant milestone for the “Automated External Defibrillator” or “AED-on-Wheels” programme. This programme was first launched in November 2015 to increase the availability and coverage of AEDs in the community by equipping taxis and private-hire vehicles with the device, as well as to train the drivers in CPR-AED skills.
3. The “AED-on-Wheels” programme is a critical component of the “Save-A-Life” initiative, which was also introduced in 2015 to enhance community first response to Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest (OHCA) cases as well as to make AEDs more accessible to the public. As of end-May 2022, around 5,380 AEDs have been installed at HDB lift lobbies, private condominiums, taxis, and private hire vehicles under this initiative. We hope to take this even further by making an AED available for every 250m radius by 2025, because we all know that AEDs save lives.
4. Hence, I am also pleased to note that we are expanding the “AED-on-Wheels” network to include logistics and courier service providers, as they have a massive presence on our roads and in our community. Ninja Van is the very first from this sector to join the programme, and I hope it will spur other logistics and courier service providers to come on board in the future.
Overview of the “AED-on-Wheels” Programme
5. There is a saying that nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something! This is especially true during a OHCA case, where a victim’s chance of survival has been found to drop by 7% to 10% with each passing minute without CPR intervention. Thus, Community First Responders (CFRs) who are participating drivers under the “AED-on-Wheels” programme can make a crucial difference to the lives of others with their timely intervention.
6. When cardiac arrest cases are reported, CFRs in participating vehicles within a 1.5km radius of the case will be notified via SCDF’s myResponder app. If they are within the vicinity, they can quickly deliver the AED to the scene, administer the AED, as well as perform CPR. This is especially vital in areas with limited AED coverage, which is why the “AED-on-Wheels” programme is important as the participating drivers could potentially bring lifesaving help while plying the roads.
7. Currently we have about 210 drivers on this programme, and they have responded to 168 cardiac arrest cases. With Ninja Van coming on board, we will now have 260 drivers and I am certain that they will contribute positively to the response rate going forward.
8. I would like to take the opportunity to thank the Co-operative of Singapore Civil Defence Force Employees Ltd (COSEM), for kindly sponsoring the 50 AEDs to Ninja Van to make this collaboration possible.
9. I understand that the Ninja Van drivers who are participating in the “AED-on-Wheels” programme have all attended SCDF’s Community Emergency Preparedness Programme (CEPP) to equip themselves with crucial lifesaving skills such as first aid, CPR-AED, and basic firefighting.
10. It is also very commendable that Ninja Van had taken the additional initiative to equip its participating vehicles with first aid kits and fire extinguishers. These items can be utilised by the CEPP-trained drivers or CFRs during emergencies such as road traffic accidents or vehicular fires that they may come across.
11. To Ninja Van and its drivers, I thank you for taking the time to be trained and being involved in the “AED-on-Wheels” programme. You are the pioneers within the logistics and courier service providers, and I hope that moving forward, more drivers from this sector will emulate what you have done. I look forward also to the sharing session by some of the participating drivers later, to understand what had inspired you to join this noble cause.
A Nation of Lifesavers
12. Remember, every response matters even if it involves seemingly simple tasks like guiding emergency responders to the casualty or helping to retrieve an AED. As trained CFRs, I urge you to always be ready to respond to the next emergency when you are activated on the myResponder app. You can make a difference in someone else’s life.
13. On this note, I would also like to congratulate the SCDF for achieving a notable milestone in its effort to build “A Nation of Lifesavers”, with over 100,000 CFRs registered on the myResponder app. Congratulations! I hope the SCDF will continue working with stakeholders and partners to grow this number further. Since the start of 2022, CFRs have responded to about 67 per cent of all cases on the myResponder app. These are indeed very encouraging results.
14. In conclusion, please join me once again in thanking Ninja Van, its participating drivers, as well as COSEM, for their tremendous support in this public-spirited cause. I hope more members of the public from all sectors of society will be inspired to step forward as CFRs and to bring us closer to “A Nation of Lifesavers”.
15. Thank you very much.