Tuesday 30th August 2016 – 5.18pm – Murray MacGregor.
While millions of us enjoyed a bit of late summer sun (and some rain) over the August Bank Holiday weekend, hundreds of ambulance staff were busy saving lives and providing care to people in their hour of need.
Over the four days, Friday 26th – Monday 29th, West Midlands Ambulance Service received no fewer than 11,639 999 emergency calls, just under 5% more calls (+ 547 calls) than the same August Bank Holiday in 2015.
The biggest increases came in Staffordshire (+8.0% to 2224 calls), Birmingham (+7.5% to 2925 calls) and Worcestershire (+6.9% to 995 calls). Shropshire bucked the trend with a slight fall in call numbers, down 1.4% to 704 calls.
However, within the headline figures there were some extremes, partly due to the weather. For example, yesterday (Monday), Herefordshire had a 35.6% increase on the Bank Holiday Monday in 2015. On Friday, Black Country saw a 14.3% rise compare to the previous years Friday.
Emergency Services Director, Craig Cooke, said: “I would like to thank all of our staff and volunteers who worked so hard over the Bank Holiday weekend. When many of us were enjoying time with friends, family and enjoying a few days off, our staff were working day and night to ensure people had the highest levels of clinical care when they needed it most.
“Given the expectation of high demand, we planned well and that ensured we were able to deal with patients in a timely manner. I would like to particularly thank the many staff who were prepared to work additional shifts to ensure we had the cover we needed to provide such a high level of service to the people of the West Midlands.
“As you will have seen via our social media feed, the weekend was not without its disappointments. To yet again have to report staff being attacked whilst trying to help people is extremely troubling. We will be doing everything possible to ensure the perpetrators are charged and hope that the courts will deal with these cases in the toughest possible manner. It is appalling that members of our staff have been left battered, bruised and in fear of harm whilst simply trying to carry out their job.”