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SCDF reports decline in fire cases but more ambulance calls in H1

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The 'Red Rhino' from the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) during the mobile column of the National Day Preview held at the Padang on Aug 1, 2015.

THE Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) responded to 2,406 fire calls in the first half of 2015, down 5 per cent year on year.

Rubbish fires at residential premises continued to form the bulk of fires, at 54.6 per cent or 801 cases, the SCDF said on Tuesday.

Dropped light cases remained the highest contributing cause of fires, accounting for 1,343 cases or more than half of all fires.

SCDF said 64 casualties resulted from the fire incidents in the first six months of the year.

Between January and June, SCDF's emergency medical services (EMS) responded to 81,686 ambulance calls, compared to 5,623 calls over the same period last year. More than 94 per cent were emergency calls.

And while the proportion of non-emergency calls remained low (4.2 per cent), SCDF said the number of non-emergency calls more than doubled over the same period last year.

A mounting concern is the rise in the number of cases where the EMS staff were verbally and/or physically abused by patients, family members and friends of patients.

In the first six months of 2015, there were 10 reported abuse cases, compared to six cases a year ago.

SCDF stressed that it does not condone any form of physical or verbal abuse against its officers and will lodge police reports if any of its personnel is abused.

In the first half, the SCDF also conducted 8,244 fire-safety enforcement checks. This is an 18 per cent rise from the 6,985 checks conducted a year ago.

SCDF said the rise is due to an increase in public feedback on fire-safety violations received through the mySCDF mobile app and also more scheduled enforcement checks.