999 calls peak in Beds on Christmas Day



Emergency calls to 999 on Christmas Day totalled 326 in Bedfordshire, one of the lowest numbers in the region.

The East of England Ambulance Service (EEAST) received more than 2,700 emergency calls on Christmas Day, around 40 more calls than last year and a hike of around 300 calls compared to an average day.

Calls were typically about chest pains, illnesses, falls, choking, assaults and births.

Only around 30 per cent of patients were in a life-threatening condition which includes cardiac arrests, suspected stroke or serious wounds.

EEAST received 370 calls on Christmas Day from Cambridgeshire, 467 from Hertfordshire, 313 from Suffolk, 344 from Norfolk and 874 from Essex.

Rob Ashford, Acting Director of Service Delivery, said: “We’re still seeing an increase in calls each Christmas Day. Our staff are working as hard as ever over the period and I’m proud of all those who have been carrying out lifesaving work for the EEAST over the past few days. From our call handlers, to the crews out on the roads, and everyone else - I’d like to say a huge thank you to them all.

“We will continue to be under pressure over the weekend and into next week, with New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day typically being our busiest days of the year. So we’re urging members of the public to familiarise themselves with the winter health advice on our website, and to think twice before calling 999 about other options that may be available. 111 is a very useful resource in case you’re unsure about what to do and want to know what health services are available to you over the break.”

Mr Ashford also thanked the public for helping to contribute to a decrease of about 360 calls over the three days of the Christmas period compared to 2012. T

he service took 7,813 calls between Christmas Eve and Boxing Day and 1,241 patients were taken to hospital on Christmas Day.

You should ALWAYS call 999 in the event of one of these emergencies. Don’t ever let a serious condition get worse:

- Cardiac arrest/collapse/unconsciousness

- Heart attack (pains through the left arm, shortness of breath, clammy etc.)

- Stroke

- Convulsions or fitting

- Serious injury leading to severe loss of blood, fractures etc.

- Severe burns or scalds

- Choking

- Drowning

- Severe allergic reactions




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