As the biggest party night of the year is on the horizon, ambulance chiefs are urging people to take extra care.
East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EMAS) is preparing for New Year’s Eve with a plea to those celebrating to start 2013 safe and well.
The traditional party night marks the end of more than a fortnight of seasonal celebrations which puts more demand on ambulances than any other time of the year.
The last Friday before Christmas, December 21, was a busy night with EMAS dealing with 2,384 emergency calls – that’s 457 more than would normally be received on a typical Friday.
Now EMAS is preparing to help revellers across the East Midlands as they celebrate the start of 2013 and alcohol-fuelled illness and injury is set to cause a spike in emergency calls.
Pete Ripley, EMAS’ Operations Director, said: “Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations always mean an increase in calls.
“Alcohol makes people take risks and that can lead to anything from a fall resulting in a head injury to not being able to make your way home.
“We have to deal with too many people who are so intoxicated they’re lying on the pavement alone and that’s a very vulnerable situation.
“If you’re planning on celebrating the new year also make a plan to stay safe and well that includes staying hydrated, knowing your alcohol limits and ensuring you can get home at the end of the night.”
EMAS has a number of schemes which will be operating in towns and cities across the East Midlands on New Year’s Eve to care for those with alcohol-related illness and injury.
This includes Safe Haven in Kettering and Northampton, a partnership between EMAS, local Police and St John Ambulance.
EMAS paramedics work from this mobile unit to assess and treat minor injuries such as head or leg wounds and avoid patients needing to visit a busy A&E department.
The units are also a ‘safe haven’ for vulnerable people who have become detached from their friends.
In Leicester and Loughborough a partnership with Leicestershire Police will see Polambs in action.
These specially adapted ambulances act as a medical assessment unit and allow paramedics and police officers to deal with issues at the same time. For example helping someone who may have been injured in a fight.
On average Leicester’s Polamb deals with over 80 incidents each month with the majority of patients male and aged between 18 and 30. Again, the service takes pressure off ambulances by dealing with injuries at the scene.
Pete added: “Our service is in huge demand at this time of year.
“Schemes like Safe Haven and Polamb reduce pressure on our ambulances so resources are freed up for the most life-threatening calls.
“However people can help us even further by not becoming a statistic and letting alcohol or drugs ruin their night.”
Stay safe this New Year...
1. Keep warm.
2. Eat something before you start drinking alcohol.
3. Ensure you have soft drinks or water to avoid dehydration.
4. Plan your journey home and ensure you save money for a taxi or bus.
5. Look out for your friends and don’t let anyone get left behind.