Calls for ambulances increases significantly for first six hours of 2014

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East Midlands Ambulance Service said it received a significant number of 999 calls during the first six hours of 2014.

On an average day, the service receives 2,000 emergency calls over a 24-hour period but in the first six hours of this year, the service received 1,236 calls. The busiest time was between 1am and 2am when 291 calls were received - nearly five emergencies a minute.

Director of operations for the service Richard Henderson said: “I’d like to pay tribute to everyone who worked on the frontline – those answering 999 calls in our emergency operations centres and our clinicians out on the road providing medical treatment and care.

“They were supported by operational management teams based at hospital emergency departments to assist with the clinical handover of patients to hospital staff. We also value the assistance given by our Community First Responders, the British Red Cross, St John Ambulance and East Midlands Immediate Care Scheme doctors, all of whom help us to provide the very best possible service.

“My thanks go to all of them for their continued dedication and support. Whilst most members of the public were celebrating the New Year, these people were hard at work doing a really great job in challenging circumstances.”

Mr Henderson urged people to be aware of the options available for the treatment of minor illnesses or injuries, rather than calling for an ambulance, over the next few weeks if the weather deteriorates.