SINGAPORE: One hundred SMRT taxis have been installed with Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs), as part of a three-year pilot programme called SMRT-Temasek Cares AED on Wheels.
The aim of the programme is to increase the availability of AEDs in the community, as they can come into use in the event of a sudden cardiac arrest. It is supported by Singapore Heart Foundation, Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) and the National Taxi Association.
Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Chan Chun Sing attended the launch of the programme held at the SMRT Sports and Recreation Club on Friday (Nov 27).
Under the programme, participating taxi drivers went for a four-hour certification course with the Singapore Heart Foundation. During the course, which was held in October and November, they learnt CPR techniques, as well as how to use the AED. If the drivers are within a 1.5-kilometre radius of a cardiac arrest case, they will be alerted by a mobile application from SCDF.
By the end of 2018, the pilot programme will undergo a review to assess whether it is effective in saving lives.
To support this programme, Temasek Cares is providing a grant of S$376,500 from its Temasek Emergency Preparedness Fund.
Said Ms Woon Saet Nyoon, general manager of Temasek Cares: “We will look at how the response will be from the taxis and if it is successful, we will bring the programme to our partners and (look at) how we can ramp it up to include more taxis.”
One of the participating SMRT taxi drivers, Rani Krishnasamy, said: “It does not take up space, it's just a small bag … below my seat. It’s a good thing because to save a life is very important and if those few minutes count, I think it's very important.”