999: It’s for emergencies only

AMBULANCE bosses are urging people not to waste paramedics’ time this Easter with hangovers, sore throats and stubbed toes.

Those are just some of the reasons they have heard in the past for people calling 999.

As emergency teams prepare for an increase of calls during the holiday and warmer weather, they are appealing for people not to put unnecessary pressure on the life-saving service.

Tasnim Ali, Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust’s assistant director of A and E operations for the Bradford, Calderdale and Kirklees area, said: “Typically more people will be out and about socialising, which can lead to more people becoming ill or injured, and as many people like to enjoy an alcohol drink during the four-day holiday, we usually see a rise in alcohol-fuelled incidents too.

“We don’t want to deter people from calling 999 in a genuine medical emergency and would like to reassure members of the public that we will have additional resources in place to manage the anticipated rise in demand during the busy period.

“All we ask is that people think carefully about whether they really need to call 999 for an emergency ambulance.”

The trust says people should only call 999 for an ambulance in a medical emergency when it is obvious they or another person has a serious or life-threatening illness or injury and needs time-critical help.

For advice and treatment for non-emergencies, they urge people to consider options such as a visit to a local pharmacist or GP surgery, a call to NHS Direct on 0845 46 47 or a visit a walk-in centre or minor injuries unit.