Snow leads to 1,000 calls for ambulances

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Ambulance crews defied snow and icy conditions at the weekend to make more than 3,400 journeys to those needing help.

East Midlands Ambulance Service, which covers Northamptonshire, said it experienced more than 1,000 calls on Sunday reporting situations where someone’s life was in immediate danger.

The figure was greater than expected as snowfall covered the county, making journeys for the ambulance crews more difficult.

East Midlands Ambulance Service director of operations Peter Ripley said: “We have been under additional pressure this weekend and it is especially challenging for us to reach people quickly when many roads are covered with snow or ice.

“Calls increased due to more road traffic collisions, slips or falls, and for people who experienced breathing problems due to an existing medical condition and the low temperatures.”

The British Red Cross and St John Ambulance supported the service by coming to the aid of patients with minor injuries and illnesses.

Mr Ripley said: “The bad weather is set to continue and people are urged to heed the advice offered by the emergency and health services and to use common sense.”

He advised drivers to be responsible and those out walking to wrap up warm and wear sensible footwear.

He also suggested people stock up a first aid kit and carry their medication if they go out.

Mr Ripley added: “You can get advice and treatment for sprains, grazes or minor injuries after a fall at a local walk-in centre.

“People suffering from a cold or flu can get treatment and advice from their local pharmacist.

“By using the right service, you will help us get to people suffering a life-threatening condition like a cardiac arrest, severe bleeding, fitting or concussion and who really need an emergency ambulance.”