More than 250 Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) paramedics will undergo attachments at the emergency departments of Singapore General Hospital (SGH) and KK Women's and Children's Hospital (KKH) so that they can better respond to different kinds of medical emergencies.

The training is part of a Memorandum of Understanding that SingHealth and SDCF signed today to advance pre-hospital emergency care and training for paramedics in Singapore. The Memorandum spans six years, from now till 2023.

A major part of the training for the paramedics will be in simulated environments at the SingHealth Duke-NUS Institute of Medical Simulation. Using realistic simulation tools, the paramedics can practice handling emergency scenarios and try out new technologies and procedures in a safe, controlled setting.

A select group of senior paramedics will be trained as clinical instructors and educators. They will help SCDF grow the number of paramedics in Singapore and create a new career pathway known as paramedic educators. A first-ever national paramedic educator training programme will be jointly developed by SingHealth and SCDF.

In 2015 alone, SCDF responded to more than 165,000 emergency calls, out of which about 37 per cent were for cases involving the elderly. SingHealth Group CEO Prof Ivy Ng said, "It is clear that our ageing population will have more complex care needs that require higher intensity of medical attention. To address these challenges, SCDF and SingHealth will continue to leverage pre-hospital emergency care data analytics and health services research to forecast demand."

To enhance pre-hospital emergency care, the number of SGH nurses seconded to SCDF will increase from four to fourteen. They will assist medical call-taking, enhance the triage process and conduct research in medical dispatch.

"Beyond clinical care, the MOU underscores a long-term partnership in education and research that will enable SCDF to further enhance its geriatric-ready Emergency Medical Services to address the evolving needs of our community," said Mr Eric Yap, Commissioner of SCDF.

Watch video about the collaboration Here