Published: 13 March 2023
Ms Neo Su Yin, Chief Executive Officer, SingPost;
Mr Eric Yap, Commissioner, Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF);
Mr Kee Kirk Chuen, Senior Director (Programmes), Temasek Foundation;
Ladies and Gentlemen;
1. A very good afternoon to all of you. I am very happy to be able to join you this afternoon to witness the “AED-on-Wheels” launch event at SingPost’s Tampines Regional Base.
Background of “AED-on-Wheels”
2. This event marks another significant milestone for SCDF’s “AED-on-Wheels” programme. First launched in November 2015, this is a critical component of the “Save-A-Life” initiative, which aims to enhance community first response to Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest (OHCA) cases by making AEDs more accessible to the public.
3. The “AED-on-Wheels” programme has been successful in equipping taxis, private-hire vehicles, and vehicles in the logistics and courier service industry with AEDs. Notably, the drivers are also trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and this is very important.
4. When a cardiac arrest is reported, community first responders (CFRs) in participating vehicles within 1.5km of the case will be notified by the SCDF via the ‘myResponder’ mobile application. CFRs who are in the vicinity and able to help, can quickly proceed to the scene, perform CPR, and administer the AED on the victim. In areas with limited AED coverage, the drivers under the “AED-on-Wheels” programme can make a key difference to the lives of others whenever they ply the roads.
Status of AEDs and “AED-on-Wheels
5. As of end-2022, over 5,400 AEDs have been installed around Singapore under the “Save-A-Life” Initiative, mostly at HDB lift lobbies and private condominiums. This also includes the AEDs that are carried in the vehicles of some 310 participants under the “AED-on-Wheels” programme, comprising private hire drivers, drivers from the logistics and courier service industry, as well as vehicles of private citizens.
6. To date, our CFRs on wheels have responded to some 150 suspected cardiac arrest cases. Together, they are part of more than 130,000 CFRs registered on the myResponder app. Last year, these CFRs had responded to over 60% of suspected cardiac arrest cases activated by the SCDF. We want to do more so that we can have a network which can help to save lives, because cardiac arrests can happen anywhere. People with the right skills and equipment, at the right time and place can certainly help to save the day.
7. I cannot over-emphasise the importance of our CFR community in Singapore and the life-saving work that they do. Let me share this life-saving case I came across earlier in SCDF’s Facebook post.
8. Last year, Mr Daniel Lim, who is a registered CFR on the myResponder App, was alerted via the myResponder App about a cardiac arrest case at Jurong West Street 64. He grabbed an AED from a nearby block before arriving at scene. He also guided the patient’s son to perform CPR while he set up the AED. Meanwhile Mr Rohit Tiwari, another CFR who was also activated by the mobile app, arrived and helped with crowd control. He also gathered the patient’s details for the SCDF paramedics and reassured the patient’s family members before SCDF’s arrival. Thanks to them, a life was saved that day.
9. Another story involves Mr Sin York Tan, a ComfortDelgro taxi driver, CFR and participant of the “AED-on-Wheels” programme. Mr Sin helped an injured person when he came across a road traffic accident near Bukit Timah Road last year. Using a first aid kit in his taxi, he swiftly provided first aid to the injured person and alerted the Police and SCDF to the case. These are very inspiring stories, and I hope to hear of more stories about CFRs like Mr Sin York Tan, Mr Daniel Lim and Mr Rohit Tiwari coming forth to help others in need.
10. This is why we must continue building on the “AED-on-Wheels” network. We are thankful for all our “AED-on-Wheels” partners like SMRT, Grab, and ComfortDelgro for signing on to this life-saving programme. Last year, we added Ninja Van to the network and this is vital because providers from the logistics and courier service industry also have an extensive presence on our roads and they can play a unique life-saving role in our community.
11. Today, I am heartened the “AED-on-Wheels” network will be strengthened with the addition of 25 SingPost vehicles consisting of 11 vans and 14 three-wheeler bikes. These vehicles have been equipped with AEDs and First Aid Kits that are provided by Temasek Foundation, as well as fire extinguishers supported by SingPost.
12. To all SingPost drivers and riders who are part of the “AED-on-Wheels” programme, you have been equipped with lifesaving skills like basic firefighting, first aid, CPR and the use of the AEDs under the SCDF’s Community Emergency Preparedness Programme. You now form part of our ready pool of CFRs who may be called upon to help others during emergencies at any time. Always remember: No effort is too small, and every little effort can make a big difference to the lives of those caught in an emergency – you can make a difference. I sincerely want to thank the staff of SingPost who have been very supportive, and ready to help. You are part of the network now, and we will continue to work hard to strengthen and extend the network. Please join me to give them a big round of applause.
13. I want to thank my SCDF colleagues for their efforts and hard work in reaching out to the public, stakeholders and partners to garner their support and participation to save lives and property. SCDF’s work is very challenging, and they work very hard. The circumstances they come across to save lives vary. Every case is different, every incident is different so we need all hands on deck. We must always be ready and prepared so that we can help to save lives in various situations. I certainly look forward to seeing the “AED-on-Wheels” programme grow even further in the future with many more participants coming on board.
14. I want to thank SingPost and its participating drivers and riders, as well as the Temasek Foundation for the provision of AEDs to make this life-saving collaboration possible. Everyone is on board, and let’s go out there and save lives.
15. Thank you.