Published: 18 November 2019
Mr Ang Hin Kee, Advisor, National Taxi Association
Mr James Ng, Managing Director, HDT Singapore Taxi
Professor Tan Huay Cheem, Chairman, Singapore Heart Foundation
Commissioner Eric Yap, Commissioner SCDF
Ladies and gentlemen,
A very good afternoon.
1. I am very happy to be here, and I am delighted to launch the HDT Singapore Taxi–Singapore Heart Foundation “Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) on Wheels Programme”.
2. HDT Singapore Taxi is the second taxi company after SMRT to come on board the “AED on Wheels Programme”.
3. The SMRT–Temasek Cares “AED on Wheels Programme” was first launched in November 2015 as part of the Save-A-Life Initiative. This is to promote community first response and increase the availability of AEDs in the community.
4. 100 SMRT taxis were equipped with AEDs and the taxi drivers were trained in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)-AED skills. This is so that they can respond to cardiac arrest cases when alerted via the myResponder App.
5. In the event of a cardiac arrest emergency, these SMRT taxi drivers can help to deliver the AED to the scene quickly, administer the AED or perform CPR. This improves the chances of survival for the victim.
6. As of September 2019, SMRT taxi drivers have arrived on scene to assist in 149 cardiac arrest cases. Four of them, Mr Kenneth Goh, Mr Simon Ngiam, Mr Lim Chwee Hoon, and Mdm Rani D/O Krishnasamy have responded to a total of 24 cardiac arrest cases that were activated by the SCDF’s myResponder app. They will be sharing with us their experiences of stepping forward and rendering assistance to others in distress. I look forward to hearing their stories later on and I hope that their experiences will encourage all taxi drivers and others to follow their lead.
7. At today’s launch event, I am heartened to know that 50 HDT taxi drivers will be joining the “AED on Wheels Programme”. These 50 taxis have been equipped with AEDs kindly sponsored by the Singapore Heart Foundation, and HDT Singapore Taxi has also taken the added initiative to equip these 50 taxis with first aid kits and fire extinguishers so that the taxi drivers can respond not only to cardiac arrest incidents, but also other emergencies such as incipient car fires that they may encounter on the road.
8. These are truly well equipped emergency ready taxis, driven by taxi drivers trained in emergency preparedness. Truly exemplary – please give yourselves a round of applause.
9. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the National Taxi Association for facilitating the collaboration and in getting HDT Singapore Taxi to come on board the “AED on Wheels Programme”.
10. To the 50 HDT taxi drivers who have volunteered to be part of this meaningful programme, we are proud of you and we warmly welcome you to the family of community first responders.
11. You have been trained by the SCDF in Emergency Preparedness skills such as basic first aid, CPR-AED procedures and basic firefighting. You form our ready pool of community first responders that would be called upon to render assistance to others during emergencies.
12. You also play an important role in contributing towards SCDF’s vision of building A Nation of Lifesavers. Every small effort that you make contributes towards saving lives and property, and every effort counts.
13. Your support, belief, and commitment to the cause will go a long way in making “A Nation of Lifesavers” a reality. Your lifesaving actions during incidents will not only make a difference in someone else’s life, but I am sure they will also inspire many others to step forward to become community first responders, and in turn save many more lives.
14. Once again, I would like to welcome HDT Singapore Taxi on board the “AED on Wheels Programme” and I look forward to having more taxi companies and private hire car operators participating in this noble programme in future.
15. Thank you very much.