New Year’s Eve partygoers are being urged to drink sensibly and only call for an ambulance in a genuine emergency by the London Ambulance Service (LAS).
At peak times last year the service took a whopping 600 calls an hour compared to its usual 250.
In addition to its usual duties LAS is running five booze buses and three alcohol recovery centres across London to look after people who have had too much to drink.
— Dominic Stark (@LAS_Harrow) December 29, 2014
Deputy Director of Operations Kevin Brown, who is leading the service’s response on New Year’s Eve, said: “It will be an extremely busy night for us across the capital with our call takers answering hundreds more emergency calls than usual and our medics out in teams on the streets, working with colleagues from St John Ambulance, to help those at the central London celebrations.”
To help respond to anyone who becomes unwell or injured in the event area the service is working with St John Ambulance volunteers to run 11 treatment centres.
— London Ambulance (@Ldn_Ambulance) December 30, 2014
Katherine Eaton, Events Manager for London St John Ambulance, said: “If you need medical help make your way, if you can, to one of our treatment centres.
“In an emergency ask for help – or get a friend or passer-by to do it for you – from a steward, security official, first aid volunteer or police officer.
“Only dial for an ambulance as a last resort.”
Kevin added: “Many of the people we’re called to on New Year’s Eve have injured themselves or become unwell because they’ve had too much to drink.
“This puts additional strain on us and means our ambulances may not be available for those in life-threatening conditions.
“Our New Year’s message to Londoners is enjoy the celebrations but please think before calling for an ambulance and where possible consider using other services such as calling NHS 111, using a pharmacy, or walk-in centre.”
Picture courtesy of Chris Chabot, with thanks