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MEH Ong, PHY Ang, YH Chan, S Yap
Correspondence: Dr Ong Eng Hock Marcus, firstname.lastname@example.org
Introduction In the year 2002, the Society for Emergency Medicine in Singapore Chapter of Paramedics organised the first emergency medical services (EMS) day, to educate the public about basic emergency response skills and to increase public awareness of the local EMS System.
Methods This was an observational, cross-sectional study. A survey was conducted to find out about the knowledge and attitudes of the public and paramedic volunteer instructors towards the local EMS System.
Results Two hundred and six (81.4 percent) out of 253 members of the public and 70 paramedics (100 percent) responded. For the public, the majority were females (86 percent), mean age (standard deviation [sd]) was 15.9 (7.9) years, range 11.0 to 67.0 years. For the paramedics, mean (sd) age was 26.6 (3.8) years. 61.9 percent were females. The public showed good knowledge of the emergency ambulance number and the indications for calling an ambulance. Public expectations of ambulance response times were significantly shorter than paramedics. They were also less comfortable with ambulance crews performing advanced life support interventions compared with the paramedics.
Conclusion Continuing efforts should be made to increase public awareness of the EMS system as well as to manage public expectations regarding response times and the roles of paramedics. EMS day represents one such opportunity.
Keywords: ambulance, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, emergency medical services, paramedics
Singapore Med J 2004; 45(9): 419-422