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New initiative to train community to respond to cardiac arrests: Masagos

SINGAPORE — A new initiative to train and organise network of community responders to respond quickly and effectively to cardiac arrest cases within the community is expected to be rolled out in all constituencies by the end of 2018.

SINGAPORE — A new initiative to train and organise network of community responders to respond quickly and effectively to cardiac arrest cases within the community is expected to be rolled out in all constituencies by the end of 2018.

Speaking at the Ministry of Home Affairs’ (MHA) Committee of Supply debate today (March 6), Senior Minister of State for Home Affairs and Foreign Affairs Mr Masagos Zulkifli noted how community partnerships will change the approach towards emergency response.

“In any emergency, the first few minutes are crucial,” said Mr Masagos. “The best first responder in such situations is the bystander”.

Rapid and effective cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and operate automated external defribrillator (AEDs) intervention from bystanders increase the chances of survival, said Mr Masagos.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force’s (SCDF) Save a Life initiative will be piloted later this year in six constituencies — Bedok, Bukit Panjang, Choa Chu Kang, Pasir Ris West, Radin Mas and Tampines West.

“It is imperative that we do so as our population ages and a significant proportion of cardiac arrest cases take place at home,” said Mr Masagos.

The ministry will partner the Ministry of Health for the initiative to grow a pool of community responders. All volunteers will be trained to administer CPR and operate AEDs.

The AEDs will also be made more accessible at Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats. For a start, the ministry will install them at lift lobbies of every two to three HDB blocks in the pilot constituencies.

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