Irresponsible drinkers were the main cause of a 24 per cent spike in 999 call-outs on Friday night, East Midland Ambulance Service said.
Frontline crews across the region dealt with 2,384 emergency calls, 457 more than would normally be received on a typical Friday.
Record call volumes continued into the early hours of yesterday morning.
EMAS said that, as in previous years, people drinking to excess was the main reason for the increase with crews dealing with callers who had injured themselves or were so drunk they needed hospital treatment.
Ambulance chiefs warned earlier this week that a perfect storm of factors, including pay day for many and people marking the Mayan ‘end of the world’ prophecy by drinking heavily, was likely to make things difficult for paramedics.
A spokesman for EMAS added: “We geared up for a very busy night because the last Friday before Christmas is traditionally a time of high demand as people finish work and start to party.
“Sadly, many of the patients we dealt with had their night out spoilt and some will even be spending Christmas in hospital rather than with their family and friends.
“We expect the increase in demand to continue over Christmas and into the New Year and whilst we don’t want to be killjoys, we’d urge people to drink sensibly to avoid the same problems happening to them.”
The service is also asking the public to only call 999 in cases of genuine life-threatening emergencies