Paramedics given a busy start to 2016

The New Year got off to a busy start for the North East Ambulance Service.
The New Year got off to a busy start for the North East Ambulance Service.

Paramedics had a busy time as people welcomed in 2016.

The North East Ambulance Service answered more than 1,350 calls and attended 620 incidents between 6pm on New Year’s Eve and 6am on New Year’s Day.

Despite numerous appeals to the public to use the service wisely, 999 operators continued to answer inappropriate calls from New Year revellers.

Lynn Pyburn, assistant contact centre manager, said: “New Year is traditionally the busiest night of the year for the ambulance service.

“Thank you to our extremely dedicated staff who have worked tirelessly throughout Christmas and New Year, under challenging circumstances at times.

“As we enter into 2016, I would like to remind members of the public to use our services wisely.

“Calling 999 for trivial incidents and minor conditions can potentially put those with life-threatening illnesses and injuries at risk.

“Please think before you pick up the phone. Do you really need an ambulance?”

People who require treatment or advice for a minor illness or injury should consider more appropriate healthcare services such as self-care, pharmacists, GP surgeries, urgent care centres or NHS 111.

Only call 999 when someone is in need of time-critical life-saving help.

For more information about NHS services available near you visit NHS Choices at www.nhs.uk