Ambulance service boss pays tribute to staff working over New Year period

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As predicted, the New Year brought a challenging time for East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EMAS), who were busy responding to people needing help having sustained an injury or becoming ill.

EMAS Associate Director of Operations Joe Garcia, worked in the Nottingham Emergency Operations Centre during the night and early hours. He said: “On an average day, we expect to receive around 2,000 emergency 999 calls over a 24 hour period. However, in the first six hours of 2016 alone, we received over 1,000 calls. At our busiest time, between 1.30am and 4.30am, we received a new call every 18 seconds - we normally receive a new call around every 43 seconds.

“I’d like to pay tribute to everyone who worked in on the frontline – those answering 999 calls in our Emergency Operations Centres and our clinicians out on the road providing medical treatment and care at this very challenging time. We were supported by members of our operational management teams, many of whom are also qualified paramedics, working at triage centres in busy City Centres or towns, or working a shift on double crewed ambulances.

“We also value the assistance given by our Community First Responders including LIVES (Lincolnshire Integrated Voluntary Emergency Services), the British Red Cross, St John Ambulance and EMICS (East Midlands Immediate Care Scheme doctors), all of whom help us to provide the very best possible service.”

He said: “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.

“Although the festive season is soon over, we expect to continue to receive significant call numbers over the next few weeks especially if the weather deteriorates. I’d urge people to be #999wise and to be aware of the options available for the treatment of minor illnesses or injuries rather than calling for an ambulance.

”The website provides good advice and can help signpost people to services local to them.”

#NYE and #NY2016 tweets posted by EMAS during the night and early hours can be found on Twitter using the @EMASNHSTrust address.

* See more on how the county’s emergency services coped with the New Year revellry here.