Paramedics have a busy start to year

Only ring 999 in an emergency.
Only ring 999 in an emergency.

The North East Ambulance Service had a busy start to the new year – answering more than 1,350 calls and attending 620 incidents in one night.

The calls were received between 6pm on New Year’s Eve and 6am on New Year’s Day.

But despite numerous appeals to the public to use the service wisely, 999 operators continued to answer inappropriate calls from New Year revellers.

Lynn Pyburn, assistant contact centre manager, said: “New Year is traditionally the busiest night of the year for the ambulance service.

“Thank you to our extremely dedicated staff who have worked tirelessly throughout Christmas and New Year, under challenging circumstances at times. They are very much appreciated.

“As we enter into 2016, I would like to remind members of the public to use our services wisely.

“Calling 999 for trivial incidents and minor conditions can potentially put those with life-threatening illnesses and injuries at risk by diverting ambulances elsewhere.

“Please think before you pick up the phone. Do you really need an ambulance?”

People who require treatment or advice for a minor illness or injury should consider other more appropriate healthcare services available to them such as self-care, pharmacists, GP surgeries, urgent care centres or NHS 111.

Only call 999 when someone is in need of time-critical life-saving help.

For more information about NHS services available near you, visit NHS Choices at