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SCDF Says Paramedic Was Calm & Polite When Disengaging 995 Caller, Seeks Understanding From Public

SCDF Paramedic Had To Confirm Location, Accident Couldn’t Be Located Based On 995 Caller’s Info

Earlier this week, a 995 caller who report a road accident claimed the responder hung up on her.

This led sceptical netizens to request for the full story as the accusations were serious.

After an investigation and review, the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) has said the paramedic who called her did disengage the call, but remained calm and polite throughout.

Source: Singapore roads on Facebook

They sought understanding from the public that the location of the accident might have to be further clarified if it can’t be found.

SCDF takes serious view of feedback

In a lengthy Facebook post on Saturday (14 May), the SCDF acknowledged the incident, which was shared on Facebook page Singapore roads

Source: SCDF on Facebook

They said they took a serious view of the feedback, which mentioned two phone conversations with SCDF.

Thus, they immediately started an investigation.

This involved reviewing recordings of the conversation that the female 995 caller had with the SCDF.

First 995 call

According to the SCDF’s investigation, the first call was received by them at 2.37am on 8 May.

Source: SCDF on Facebook

The caller reported a road accident between the car and a motorcycle, and was asked for the location by the 995 call centre operator.

She said the location was along the Pan-Island Expressway (PIE) in the direction of Changi Airport, before Exit 8B, said the SCDF.

However, in the original post shared by Singapore roads, the caller said the crash was on the Central Expressway (CTE), i.e. “on CTE before exit 8B”.

According to the SCDF, the caller also said the number of the nearest lamppost was 370F.

When the operator tired to verify, the caller added,

My exit towards Changi but I’m going straight towards CTE, but the lamppost number is 370F.

Source: Singapore roads on Facebook

Ambulance couldn’t locate accident

Based on the info given by the 995 caller, their ambulance couldn’t locate the accident, said the SCDF.

Thus, the paramedic who was in the ambulance – not the 995 operator, as the original post alleged – called the caller to verify the location.

This was the second conversation the caller had with the SCDF.

Caller seemed frustrated during 2nd call

The SCDF noted that the caller seemed frustrated during the second call, and she made snide remarks to the paramedic.

Indeed, in the original post, the caller said she was infuriated, adding,

It stinks of incompetence, lack of urgency and stupidity.

She also said she told the officer they have “a listening problem”.

Thus, the paramedic said she was uncomfortable with her tone and disengaged the call.

This was so that the crew could focus their attention on locating the accident.

The SCDF later got another report from a different caller, and found the accident to be along the CTE towards the Seletar Expressway (SLE), before the PIE exit.

Source: Singapore roads on Facebook

An ambulance reached the scene within 8 minutes and sent a man to hospital.

SCDF paramedic calm & polite with 995 caller

After reviewing the first call, the SCDF found that the 995 operator had sent the ambulance to the PIE based on the caller’s info — despite the accident actually being on the CTE.

Source: SCDF on Facebook

This necessitated a second call, made by a paramedic.

For this second call, the paramedic did indeed say that she was uncomfortable with the caller’s tone and disengaged the call.

However, she remained calm and polite throughout, the SCDF said.

This could be discerned from an audio recording by the ambulance’s in-vehicle camera.

Operators may need to clarify info with 995 caller: SCDF

The SCDF highlighted that it’s “established and sound procedure” for 995 operators to ask for location info when there’s no specific address.

This info may sometimes need to be further clarified, especially when SCDF officers can’t locate the incident.

They sought the public’s understanding and patience when this happens, as they aim to make every effort to give emergency aid to those who need it.

Commending the 995 callers for their public-spiritedness, the SCDF suggested the public could call 995 using SCDF’s myResponder mobile application.

Source: SCDF on Facebook

As it has has geolocation technology that can automatically determine a caller’s location, this will ensure resources are more accurately deployed.

Everyone is just trying to help

It’s laudable that the caller reported the accident to 995 so help could come quickly.

However, in the haste to help, inaccurate location info may be given, and tempers may fray towards first responders.

While this is understandable, do know that everyone is just trying to help, and some miscommunication may occur.

Hopefully this misunderstanding is now cleared up, and the injured will recover soon.

Have news you must share? Get in touch with us via email at

Featured images adapted from Singapore Roads Accident on Facebook and MS News.

Jeremy Lee

Analog person making do with a digital world.

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