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EASS Ops Merdeka 2005

It was the most satisfying moment that I ever had since the first Emergency Ambulance Support Service (EASS) in year 2003.

30th August 2005, Merdeka Eve, again we planned for the EASS like previously. Crewmembers signed in at 2000 hrs sharp, setting up the temporary Call Dispatch Room, putting on the necessary equipment into the ambulance and etc.

I told all my fellow members: “Don’t worry, we will not have many call tonight”, convinced by my statement, 2 of my members, L/Cpl. Leong Khai Sheong and L/Cpl. Tew Choong Wei went out to have their late dinner at around 9pm. Sgt. Gan Hoo Kok and A/M Tan Teik Kean and I were teamed up. Being in the pre-hospital setting, our jobs are just to “wait and go”. No calls mean you are free of doing anything you like but must be within the standby compound. So 3 of us were chit chatting while doing some paper work. Well, we planned to bring the poster- as a reminder to our service partner in Penang Hospital (HPP) to divert some calls to us. Ultimately we did not want to sit in the base throughout the night, especially for A/M Tan who is all the way came back from Johore for his University Holiday, to join us in the operation. So we waited for the other 2 colleagues to come back from their dinner before dispatching the poster to HPP.

Once they left the base, I was the only one sitting in the Call Dispatch Room, reading a book written by a famous Psychiatrist.

The ringing by the phone blared out the silence of the room! “St. John, this is calling from hospital, please respond to a medical case-SOB at Lebuh Noordin”. Obtaining further information, I directed the crew who was heading to HPP to respond to the case using Penang Emergency Ambulance Radio Link (PEARL). Being a dispatcher, my work did not end there. I rang up the caller to get more information so that I can provide them to my crew who were on their way. After the call was connected, I realised that it was not a SOB case, but rather to be an seizure. Obtaining more information later, I realised that it was not as easy as seizure but rather to be a stage of Status Epilepticus! Nothing I could do but just teaching the caller to maintain the patient’s airway and protect him from further injury. Our conversation ended only after I could hear the siren from the phone. I was sure that the patient was OK until that particular of time.

It is a low-cost residential area, I was sure that the crew would be facing tremendous hard time to carry the patient down to the ambulance from 13th floor. This is the challenge of pre-hospital care providers. You will never learn and experience it until you are at the scene! Thank God…they made it to carry the patient down.

They lost him! The patient collapsed in the hospital while the crew is passing the patient to the staff.

My dear members, do not be depressed, you have done the best by maintaining ABC of the patient and administrating oxygen. You have made sure you did the best.

Case after case, we had a total of 7 cases from 10pm till 4am. Yes, it is very satisfying because my members learnt many things, from theory to practical. I am proud to say that they are the best team that we have in SJAM Penang.


Seizures are paroxysmal motor, sensory or cognitive manifestations of spontaneous, abnormally synchronous discharges of collections of neurons in the cerebral cortex.

Epilepsy is used to denote any disorder characterized by recurrent seizures.

Status Epilepticus is a condition where seizures activity becomes continuous with only very short periods of calm between intense and persistent seizures. The repetitive seizures may be of any type, although they are usually generalized tonic-clonic. It is considered a life-threatening medical emergency that requires immediate treatment.


Priscilla L. & Karen B. (2004). The Client With A Seizures Disorder. Medical-Surgical Nursing, Critical Thinking in Client Care (International Edition.). New Jersey: Prentice Hall

Khoo Teng Giap, EMT-B

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