Halloween, firework displays and pay day partying meant a ‘frighteningly’ busy weekend for ambulance staff

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Monday 3rd November 2014 – 12.10pm – Murray MacGregor.

Weekend demand for West Midlands Ambulance Service mirrored the ghoulish nature of the weekend.

A frightening combination of Halloween, early firework displays and people enjoying pay day meant staff had a demand rocketed upwards on Saturday by almost 19% compared to the previous weekend.

When compared to the same weekend the previous year, the increase in demand was even higher at over 21% (606 additional calls). Across the whole weekend (Friday – Sunday), demand was up by over 12% (1,064 additional calls) compared to the same weekend in 2013.

Emergency Services Director, Craig Cooke, said: “Whilst many people were out enjoying themselves this weekend, our staff were working incredibly hard to deal with the busiest day since New Year’s Eve.

“We are not expecting much of a let up this week either. Sadly, we are fully expecting to see more firework injuries like the one in Birmingham on Friday night that left a young man with serious eye and hand injuries.

“We issued advice last week about the dangers of fireworks and bonfires along with information on what to do if you do suffer a burn. We would urge anyone planning to host their own bonfire party to view the videos before they start.

“It is also expected to get much colder this week which will affect many patients with long term conditions particularly badly.

“It is therefore more important than ever that people who are considering dialling 999 take a moment to consider whether that is the best place to seek help.

“If you are unsure, please dial 111 in the first instance where the staff there will be able to provide help and advice or transfer your call directly to the ambulance service if that is appropriate.

“Please also consider using self-care, seek advice from a pharmacist, speak to your GP, in or out of hours, or visit a minor injuries unit or walk in centre.

“By using these services correctly it means that the ambulance service is available to respond to those in a critical condition as quickly as possible, and ultimately save lives.”

Saturday 1st November 2014
Coventry & Warwickshire – 566 calls – 48.6% increase on same day 2013
Birmingham – 833 calls – 19.2% increase on same day 2013
Black Country – 753 call – 20.3% increase on same day 2013
Herefordshire – 62 calls – 30% decrease on same day 2013
Shropshire – 210 calls – 14.8% increase on same day 2013
Staffordshire – 601 calls – 10.7% increase on same day 2013
Worcestershire – 286 calls – 20.2% increase on same day 2013

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