Ambulance service expecting call every 35 seconds tonight as Christmas parties peak in Northamptonshire

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East Midlands Ambulance Service is urging people to think carefully about their alcohol consumption as the service expects its busiest night this year.

The Friday before Christmas marks the most popular day for Christmas parties and festive nights out.

But for many it will lead them to taking risks that can endanger their health and cause additional pressures for medics.

Dr Bob Winter, medical director at East Midlands Ambulance Service, said: “At this time of year alcohol has a huge impact on our ambulance service. Excessive drinking can lead to people taking life-threatening risks, such as drink driving, getting into fights, accidents and falls or falling asleep outside which puts them at risk of hypothermia.

“Too much alcohol can also adversely affect some medications and worsen some chronic illnesses such as diabetes.

“We want everyone to enjoy celebrating safely but that means thinking about the potential impact of your drinking. Know your limits and don’t take risks with your health. It is important to look after your health and stay well this winter.”

EMAS said it expects the volume of of 999 calls to be around that of last year.

In 2014, it control room operators took 2,420 calls on Friday December 19 (a call every 35 seconds), which is a 20 per cent increase in calls compared to the evening of 21 November 2014, only a month prior.

Between the hours of 23:00 Friday and 07:00 Saturday morning EMAS received around 700 calls.

EMAS is encouraging those who do need medical attention to think twice before dialling 999 and ask themselves:

Is it life-threatening or could I make my own way to other NHS services, such as an urgent care centre, walk-in centre or your local GP or pharmacist?