Ambulance calls challenge service over festive period

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AMBULANCE crews across the district were pushed to the limit over the holiday period answering calls for help from residents.

The New Year celebrations brought an influx of calls to the emergency service making it a challenging time for East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS).

“In the first four hours of 2013, we received over 1,000 emergency 999 calls,” said Peter Ripley, EMAS director of operations. “On an average day, we expect to receive around 2,000 calls.

“I pay tribute to our staff who worked on the frontline – our skilled staff answering calls received in our Emergency Operations Centres and our clinicians out on the road providing medical treatment and care. They did a truly magnificent job, in challenging circumstances.

“They were supported by operational management teams based at hospital Emergency Departments to assists with the clinical handover of patients to hospital staff,” added Mr Ripley. “We were also supported by our Community First Responders, Fire co-responders, the British Red Cross, St John Ambulance and EMICS (East Midlands Immediate Care Scheme doctors), all of whom help us to provide the very best service during busy and challenging times. I thank them for their continued dedication and support.”

In the first four hours of New Year’s Day 1,074 total calls were received, with the total number of calls being received that day hitting 3,223. Of those 1,336 we’re for people reported to be in an immediately life-threatening situation. However despite this high number, the service received more calls during the same period last year with 3,436 during January 1st 2012. From Christmas Eve through to the end of December, the busiest day for the service was on Saturday December 29 with 2,611 total calls being picked up. Of those 1,002 were from people reporting an immediately life-threatening condition. This figure was an increase on the number of calls received during what is referred to as ‘black Friday’ (the last Fri before Christmas Day), whe 2,384 calls were received – 457 more than would be normally received on a typical Friday.

Mr Ripley added: “The festive season may be over, however we expect to continue to receive significant call numbers over the next few weeks and I urge people to use the right NHS services available to them for treatment of minor illnesses or injuries. Full details of local services can be found via“