Good Samaritans on Wheels

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Minister Chan Chun Sing flagging off an AED-equipped SMRT taxis at the event launch

A Singapore SMRT taxi driver could one day help save your life, or the life of one of your loved ones. As part of a three-year pilot programme called SMRT-Temasek Cares AED on Wheels, 100 SMRT taxis have been equipped with Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs). The objective of the programme is to increase the availability of AEDs in the community in case of sudden cardiac arrest. Minister Chan Chun Sing, Prime Minister’s Office and Secretary-General of the National Trade Union Congress officially launched this first-of-its-kind in South East Asia initiative on 27 November 2015 at the SMRT Sports and Recreation Club.

Mr Richard Magnus, Temasek Cares Chairman, said, “Immediate attention is critical when a person’s heart stops. His or her life can be saved. CPR can make a big difference. Aided by the use of an AED many lives can be saved. I am proud of this pioneer batch of SMRT taxi drivers who have volunteered for this meaningful programme to build community resilience.”

Temasek Cares provided a grant of $376,500 to support this programme from the Temasek Emergency Preparedness Fund as part of its ‘Stay Prepared’ initiative. If the pilot is successful, the programme will be extended to more taxis in the community.

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About the training and response system
Participating taxi drivers went for a four-hour certification course with the Singapore Heart Foundation in October and November 2015. During this time, they learnt how to use the AED, as well as proper cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) techniques. If the drivers are within a 1.5-kilometre radius of a cardiac arrest case, they will be alerted via a mobile application from Singapore Civil Defence Force’s 995 Emergency Call Centre. Drivers who are able to respond will confirm their participation through the app (up to a maximum of two taxis) and drive their taxi to deliver the AED to the specified location.

About AED on wheels

Did you know…
Every day, 15 people die from cardiovascular disease (heart disease and stroke) in Singapore. Cardiovascular disease accounted for 29.9% of all deaths in 2014. This means that nearly one out of three deaths in Singapore is due to heart disease or stroke. (Source: Singapore Heart Foundation)