Non-emergency and false alarm calls still a concern despite slight dip
The number of non-emergency and false alarm calls to the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) remains a concern despite a slight dip last year.
In its annual statistics released yesterday, SCDF said it responded to more than 17,000 non-emergency calls, where urgent medical assistance is not required, and false alarm calls, where no patients are found.
This made up over 9 per cent of all emergency medical services (EMS) calls last year, or an average of 48 non-emergency and false alarm calls a day.
Non-emergency calls rose by 1.3 per cent last year to 10,534, while the number of false alarm calls dropped by 6.1 per cent to 7,092 from the year prior.
Overall, the number of both such calls dropped by 1.8 per cent compared with 2018.
"Non-emergency and false alarm cases still required the deployment of SCDF resources which could otherwise have been dispatched to attend to emergency cases which could be life-threatening," said the SCDF.
"SCDF will continue to raise public awareness of the differences between emergency and non-emergency cases."
Since April last year, the SCDF implemented a non-conveyance policy as part of a tiered EMS response framework.
Non-emergency cases would not be taken to hospital but advised to go to a clinic or to call 1777 for a non-emergency ambulance, allowing resources to be deployed only for serious emergencies.
In all, SCDF responded to a total of 191,468 EMS calls last year, an average of about 520 calls a day. This was 2 per cent more than in 2018.