THE Welsh Ambulance Service is asking the public to stay safe and use 999 responsibly this New Year’s Eve.
Ahead of one of its busiest nights of the year, the Trust is asking people to take the following precautions to keep themselves well –
· Consume alcohol in moderation, eating before you drink and alternating alcoholic beverages with soft drinks.
· Avoid high-risk activities like fireworks – as well as burns, smoke inhalation from bonfires and fireworks can also irritate respiratory conditions, like asthma.
· Pre-arrange your transport home, and never drive under the influence of drink or drugs.
· Stock up on prescription medications before the three-day weekend, when GP surgeries will be closed.
· Ensure you have a fully-stocked first aid kit to care for minor injuries at home, including remedies for common ailments like coughs, sore throats and diarrhoea.
· Take extra care during the cold weather to avoid slips, trips and falls, and accidents on the road.
· Look out for family, friends and neighbours who are especially vulnerable.
· If you’re ill or injured and unsure what to do, visit the NHS 111 Wales website to check your symptoms to find out what’s wrong and the next steps to take.
Judith Bryce, Assistant Director of Operations at the Welsh Ambulance Service, said: “New Year’s Eve is traditionally very busy for us and this year is likely to be no exception given the level of demand we have seen so far this month.
“The number of immediately life-threatening ‘Red’ calls we’ve had in the last seven days was 62% higher than the same period last year, while demand on our 111 service has more than doubled compared to last year.
“The health system is under significant pressure currently and we all have a part to play in ensuring that we protect our precious resources for those who need them most – please act responsibly and help us to help you.
“Remember that 999 is for emergencies so if it’s not an emergency but you need medical help or want reassurance, the NHS 111 Wales website should be your first port of call for advice, information and next steps.”
With assaults on emergency workers also continuing to rise, the Trust is asking the public to treat crews with respect.
Judith said: “At a time where many people will be enjoying the revelry of the season and consuming alcohol, please treat our ambulance workers with respect.
“We know it’s distressing when you’re waiting for help, but abusing our call handlers is not the answer – if anything, it could potentially delay help.
“And on the road, crews might have no choice but to leave a scene if their safety is compromised, and that’s not helpful for anyone, especially the patient.
“Emergency workers are normal human beings just trying to do a job – they’re there to help you, so please treat them with the respect they deserve.
“We wish everybody an enjoyable evening and health in the year ahead.”