Ambulance service receives ‘huge spike’ in emergency calls during freezing weather

Ambulances have been out in force during the freezing weather.
Ambulances have been out in force during the freezing weather.

Snow, ice and sub-zero temperatures led to a ‘huge spike’ in emergency calls last weekend.

East Midlands Ambulance Service received 900 more calls between Thursday and Sunday than it did during the same period last year.

With less than a third of calls relating to immediately life-threatening situations, EMAS has urged people to assist them during its busy period by only dialing 999 for emergencies and the most serious illnesses.

Deputy director of operations Paul StClair said: “We are receiving a huge volume of calls though our control centres in Nottingham and Lincoln.

“This includes dealing with road traffic accidents across the patch and the impact of the cold weather on the elderly and those with existing medical conditions.

“I’m proud of the fantastic job our staff are doing in assisting patients despite difficult weather conditions.

“To ensure we can continue to help those in the most need we need the public’s support - please only dial 999 in genuine emergencies such as severe loss of blood, loss of consciousness, chest pains and fitting.”

EMAS has reported that more than 1,000 of the 6,335 calls received during the four days could have been dealt with more appropriately through other NHS services.

The service has also expressed its thanks to the volunteers of LIVES First REsponders, fire services who attended many of the call-outs.

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