16:51 Thursday 02 January 2014

999 calls skyrocket on New Year's Eve

Written byMARK MCKAY

AMBULANCE services which cover Burton and South Derbyshire were flooded with thousands of emergency calls on New Year’s Eve.

Of the 1,875 emergency calls the West Midland Ambulance Service responded to, 365 were in Staffordshire.

Across the border the East Midlands Ambulance Service received 1,236 calls in the first six hours of 2014 – an average of almost five a minute.

Emergency calls steadily increased during the four hours leading up to midnight.

But after revellers rang in the New Year calls to the ambulance service peaked between 1am and 2am.

A high proportion of the calls were alcohol-related including assaults, overdoses, road traffic collisions and falls.

Chief executive of the West Midlands Ambulance Service Anthony Marsh (pictured) praised the work of his staff who manned 200 ambulances on the night.

He said: “New Year’s Eve is traditionally the busiest night of the year for the ambulance service.

“This year has been no exception and I am immensely proud of the way the service has dealt with the surge in emergency calls.

“Thank you to my staff and the many volunteers who have given up their night to ensure the safety of everyone in the West Midlands.”

Richard Henderson, director of operations for East Midlands Ambulance Service made a similar tribute.

He said: “My thanks go to all of them for their continued dedication and support.

“While most of the public were celebrating the New Year these people were hard at work doing a great job in challenging circumstances.

“Although the festive season is over, we expect to continue to receive significant call numbers over the next few weeks especially if the weather deteriorates.”

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