Disaster Relief
The main aim of the MRC Community-based Ambulance Service (ComBase) Service Centres is to respond rapidly, cutting down on the response time and to dispatch the ambulance and its team of paramedics to the scene of the accident or disaster in the shortest possible time in order to save lives in emergency situations, ensuring that the victim or casualty receives immediate first aid and medical care

32  Days Left

Breakdown of funding required for the 12-hour Ambulance Service (Phase 1) at Batu Maung Base, Penang:
a) Defibrillator & Monitor System | RM30,000
b) Car Cam Recorder and GPS Locator | RM3,000
c) Rescue Safety Helmet | RM8,000
d) Automated External Defibrillator (AED) | RM10,000
 TOTAL | RM51,000
Malaysian Red Crescent (MRC) faces huge challenges in maintaining its operations mainly due to lack of sustainable funding. Although some supports are received from time to time, accelerating costs of providing and maintaining this service, coupled with the non-existence of a fixed grant or specific allocations puts the sustainability of this important life-saving emergency service at risk.

The Malaysian Red Crescent (MRC) provides the 24-hour Emergency Ambulance Service which is operated by the National Headquarters in Kuala Lumpur since its inception in 1969. It covers mainly the Klang Valley and is offered as a service to communities at large in times of emergencies and distress and is provided free of charge. The Ambulance Service also complements and supports the disaster response and relief activities of the organization.   

Due to the increasing demand for similar service in other states, several MRC branches expanded their scope to provide the ambulance service to the general public. One such branch is the MRC Penang Branch.  

The MRC Penang Branch established its first 12-hour Ambulance Service in 2007 in Permatang Tinggi, Seberang Perai Tengah. Subsequently, due to the increased request from the local community, a second Ambulance Service Centre was set up on January 1, 2013 in Butterworth to further support this service.

In coping with the increasing demand, a third Service Centre was set up in December, 2013 on a trial run basis at Batu Maung, Penang Island. The service took off officially in January 1, 2014. 

12-hour Free Emergency Service 

This 12-hour Free Emergency Ambulance Service offers to respond to calls for help following road accidents, medical emergencies and disasters.

The project aspires to build capacities in Ambulance Service for the community, and is manned by dedicated staff, specially trained in advanced first aid and pre-hospital care.  During festivities and peak period, MRC volunteers are called in to support this service.

MRC Penang Branch works closely with the Government hospitals and the Police through the 999 emergency calls, coordinated by the Seberang Jaya Hospital.

Targeted Community

The Ambulance Service is offered to communities from all walks of life and who are in need of medical care and attention in an emergency situation.


The main aim of the MRC Community-based Ambulance Service (ComBase) Service Centres is to respond rapidly, cutting down on the response time and to dispatch the ambulance and its team of paramedics to the scene of the accident or disaster in the shortest possible time in order to improve emergency response service to the community.  This is to ensure that the victim or casualty receives first aid to stabilise the condition before being sent to the nearest hospital for further medical treatment and care.

The MRC ComBase is a service for the community by the community.  While the MRC Penang Branch provides the expertise and trained personnel, the cost of running the service is borne through generous donations from the community.  Sponsors and donors are sought to help maintain and sustain the service provided.


The Batu Maung Centre treated a total of 725 cases for 2015 (an  average of  60.42 cases) and 499 cases for January to June 2016 (an average of 83.17 per month).    

For the Permatang Tinggi Ambulance Service a total of 776 cases were treated in 2014 (an average of 64.67 cases per month); and 868 cases in 2015 (an average of 72.33 cases per month).  While for January to June 2016, a total of 392 cases (an average of 65.50 cases per month) were attended to.

For the Butterworth Centre, the total for 2014 was 819 cases (an average of 68.25 per month) and for the year 2015, the total number of cases was 767 (an average of 63.92 per month).  For January to June 2016, a total number of 275 cases (an average of 45.83 per month) were attended to.

Overall, the ComBase 12-hour Ambulance Service made 2266 life-sustaining trips in 2014 (on an average of 188.83 cases per month).  For 2015, a total of 2360 cases (an average of 196.67 per month) was attended to.

This increasing trend indicates that there is pressing need for Emergency Ambulance Service in all three locations in Penang.


The thrust of this project is focused on the following two objectives:

1. To offer fast and efficient emergency ambulance service to meet the needs of the local community; ensure quick response to calls of emergency in life threatening situations and ensure that proper first-aid and pre-hospital care are administered to the person/s at risk.

2. To minimize response time on all emergency calls. With increased capacities in resources and paramedic personnel and adequate training of staff, the ComBase should be able to respond to emergency calls within 15 minutes or less.

The average response time is targeted as follows:
  • Less than 5 km | 5 minutes

  • Less than 10 km | 10.1 minutes

  • More than 10 km | 14.4 minutes

Project Outputs

The MRC Penang Branch aspires to provide efficient and sustainable Emergency Ambulance Service and requires upgrading to existing structures for the adequate functioning and output to incorporate the following:

Overheads & Special Equipment

Based on existing capacity, in order to provide better Pre-Hospital Care quality, we need to upgrade to special equipment which generally include a combination of medical devices, data management and tracking systems and others. The high operational costs continue to be a huge challenge for non-profit voluntary organization like the Malaysian Red Crescent.

MRCS CommBase Appeals