Ambulance service flooded with 999 calls as 2013 dawns

Residents are being urged to use the correct numbers when calling for medical assistance after more than 1,000 999 calls were received in the first four hours of 2013.

This is half the number of calls East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) would expect to have during a day.

On January 1, there were 3,223 calls, including 1,336 for people reported to be in an immediately life-threatening situation.

Last year, the total calls for January 1 was 3,436.

Peter Ripley, EMAS director of operations, said: “I pay tribute to our staff who worked on the frontline – our skilled staff answering calls received in our emergency operations centres and our clinicians out on the road providing medical treatment and care.

“They were supported by operational management teams assisting with the clinical handover of patients to hospital staff.

“They did a truly magnificent job in challenging circumstances.

“The festive season may be over, but we expect to continue to receive significant call numbers.

“I urge people to use the right NHS services available to them for the treatment of minor illnesses or injuries.”

Full details of local services can be found by visiting www.nhs.uk