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50 Ninja Van drivers trained to save lives in tie-up with SCDF

Updated: Oct 23, 2023

Delivery drivers working for Ninja Van will now not only deliver parcels but can also save lives, as part of a tie-up with the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) to increase the pool of community responders.

Partnering with a courier firm for the first time, SCDF has trained 50 Ninja Van delivery drivers to render cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and basic first aid.

The drivers have also been trained to use automated external defibrillators (AEDs), which are portable devices that send electric shocks to the heart to revive it during a cardiac arrest.

Ninja Van delivery drivers demonstrating their CPR skills with the use of an AED, on July 7, 2022.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

The 50 vehicles they drive will carry these AEDs, as well as fire extinguishers and first aid kits.

This was announced at the launch of the SCDF-Ninja Van AED-on-Wheels programme at the delivery company's regional office in Bukit Merah on Thursday (July 7).

Minister of State for Home Affairs and Social and Family Development Sun Xueling, who was the guest of honour, said drivers in the programme play an important role in saving lives.

She said: "There is a saying that nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something. This is especially true during an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest case, where a victim's chance of survival has been found to drop by 7 per cent to 10 per cent with each passing minute without CPR intervention. This is especially vital in areas with limited AED coverage, which is why the AED-on-Wheels programme is important as the participating drivers could potentially bring life-saving help while plying the roads."

The participating delivery vehicles can also be deployed for other emergencies, including minor fires and traffic accidents, and will feature decals on their front windscreens that identify them.

Drivers who are part of the programme will be alerted to emergencies within a 1.5km radius of their location through the myResponder app.

As at end-May, 178 taxi and private-hire drivers in the programme have arrived on scenes of emergency after being alerted via the myResponder app.

This marks the fifth collaboration between the SCDF and an external organisation in its AED-on-Wheels programme.

The programme, which aims to increase the availability of roving AEDs in the community, first started in November 2015 with 100 Strides taxis.

This was later expanded to include collaborations with the now-defunct HDT Taxi, Grab and ComfortDelGro. The 50 AEDs in HDT taxis have been redeployed to ComfortDelGro cabs.

The programme now has 260 drivers across the different firms.

Assistant Commissioner Yazid Abdullah, director of SCDF's volunteer and community partnership department, said he was heartened to see Ninja Van come on board the programme, expressing his hope that other companies would also join in.

The decision to participate was spurred by a desire to give back to the community, said Ninja Van Singapore country head Ray Chou.

Citing its extensive network of drivers, he said they can render aid quickly, which is crucial for cardiac arrest victims, whose survivability depends on timely intervention.

"We hope our participation will help relieve some of the strain that has been put on our healthcare system in this Covid-19 situation," said Mr Chou.

For delivery driver Hazrin Husain, the opportunity to save lives was something he immediately jumped on.

The 44-year-old said he once witnessed a traffic accident. Not knowing how to react, his first instinct was to call for an ambulance, but the dispatcher told him it would take some time before the paramedics arrived.

He added: "Accidents and cardiac arrest episodes can happen to anyone in the community, so I decided to join, especially since we need more first responders.

"The training that we've received has prepared us well, and I am confident of the life-saving skills I've picked up."

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