Paramedics in the region were called to almost five emergencies a minute as people celebrated the New Year in the small hours of yesterday (Wednesday, January 1).
East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EMAS) received more than 1,200 calls in the first six hours of 2014 alone, compared to a daily average of about 2,000 calls. Between 1am and 2am, 999 was dialled a total of 291 times.
Richard Henderson, EMAS’ director of operations said: “I’d like to pay tribute to everyone who worked on the frontline – those answering 999 calls in our Emergency Operations Centres and our clinicians out on the road providing medical treatment and care.
“They were supported by operational management teams based at hospital emergency departments to assist with the clinical handover of patients to hospital staff. We also value the assistance given by our Community First Responders, the British Red Cross, St John Ambulance and East Midlands Immediate Care Scheme doctors, all of whom help us to provide the very best possible service.
“My thanks go to all of them for their continued dedication and support. While most members of the public were celebrating the New Year, these people were hard at work doing a really 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.”
EMAS has also launched a #999wise campaign on Twitter and is urging people to be aware of options available for treating minor illnesses and injuries rather than calling for an ambulance.