Ambulance Service urges people to think twice before
dialling 999 on New Year's Eve
AS most people get ready to see the New Year in with a
bang, North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust (NWAS) is gearing up for their
busiest night of the year.
Partygoers are urged to think twice as they dial:- 999, and remember that the 3
digit number is for life threatening or potentially life threatening emergencies
Last year, the Trust responded to 3,560 incidents on New Year's Eve between 6pm
and 6am the following day, a number which has already been increased by 8%, on
the famous Christmas party night, aka 'Mad Friday,' on 23 December
Preparing for an even higher increase as we see 2016 come to a close, NWAS will
maximise their resources on New Years' Eve by deploying an extra 57 emergency
Ambulances, 11 Rapid Response Vehicles, along with 30 Emergency Control staff.
Shaun Murray, Dispatcher for NWAS, said:- "New Year's Eve is always an
extremely manic evening in our Emergency Operations Centre, which can made more
difficult when we receive calls from drunk and abusive callers. New Year's Eve
is a time to celebrate and have fun, but please don't let your night end in
disaster. Remember to drink sensibly and if you're out and about, dress
appropriately, stay with friends and keep your taxi money separate. For those
enjoying fireworks, please ensure they are placed safely in the ground,
everybody is kept well back and gloves are used when handling sparklers. If you
do need medical help, but it's not an emergency, please make the right call and
consider other options. You could dial:- 111 for advice."
On New Year's Eve 2015/2016, the Trust received a number of inappropriate
'999' calls, for example, someone asked for an Ambulance to be put on
'stand by' for 12am in case it was needed, asked to attend people that were
throwing up after drinking too much alcohol, a twisted ankle and a cut finger.
If you do call:- 999 for help, please be aware that the Ambulance Service must
prioritise their resources to help the most seriously ill 1st, meaning that
there will be a wait for less urgent incidents. Please consider if an Emergency
Ambulance really is the best option before calling:- 999.