Saturday 14th June 2014 – 7.30am – Murray MacGregor.
With just hours until the first England game, bosses at West Midlands Ambulance Service are urging footy fans to make sure they can remember the action, whatever the result.
With good weather, a party atmosphere, there is a small chance that the odd alcoholic drink might just pass the lips of one or two of us tonight. However, the consequence of doing so has a direct effect on the work our staff will be doing later on this evening and into the small hours of Sunday morning.
Acting Emergency Services Director, Nathan Hudson, said: “The last thing we want to do is stop people having a good time. The atmosphere across the region seems fantastic with a nervous anticipation for the big game tonight.
“Our concern is that too many people will simply not remember the game or the result because of how much they have had to drink.
“We will have extra ambulances, response vehicles and paramedic officers on duty tonight. There will be additional staff in our emergency operations centres and our Gold co-ordination centre will be operating at headquarters.
“Unfortunately, experience tells us that we are likely to be incredibly busy with alcohol related incidents before, during and after the match. Every week we see the results of heavy drinking especially around big football matches with issue such as:
- A rise in the number of assaults, including those against our ambulance staff;
- A significant increase in incidents involving domestic violence;
- Cases of drink driving which can lead to tragic consequences – most police forces will be stepping up their drink driving checks;
- People becoming injured through false bravado from too much alcohol;
- Drinkers becoming injured simply from falling over because they were too drunk to stand up.
“All of these cases are avoidable and mean we have to divert ambulances away from dealing with people with potentially life threatening conditions such as heart attacks and strokes.
“We are certainly not saying people should not drink, but it’s easy to forget how much alcohol you have consumed when you are enjoying yourself.
“All we would ask is the that everyone to look out for each other, whether through alternating each alcoholic drink with a soft one, or just making sure you and your friends get home safely, hopefully with the right result from the game in Manaus.”