As temperatures rise so does the number of 999 calls

As temperatures rise so does the number of 999 calls

We have seen a surge in the number of 999, urgent and emergency calls over the past few days many relating to symptoms caused by the warm weather. With the heat set to continue throughout the week we are asking people to enjoy the sunshine safely.

Types of calls included sunstroke, dehydration, heat exhaustion and breathing difficulties with 25 patients assessed as being immediately life threatening due to an illness or injury linked to the heat.

On Sunday when temperatures reached 30 degrees in parts of the region

  • We answered 2,523 999 calls
  • We sent an ambulance to 1,903 calls
  • Activity was 10% higher than expected
  • We responded to 80 Red 1 (Immediately life threatening) calls, twice as many as an average day 
  • We responded to 139 patients with fainting symptoms
  • Our Clinical Assessment Team (CAT) provided telephone triage to 192 patients

With demand continuing to increase, Medical Director Dr Bob Winter is urging people to take responsibility for their health and wellbeing. He said: “To ensure we can continue to help those in the most need, we need the public to enjoy the sunshine safely."

Top tips to help people enjoy the weather include:

  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water
  • Wear a sun hat and sunscreen to prevent burning or heat stroke
  • If you begin to feel unwell in the heat, take a sit down and rest inside and take a drink of water. If you still feel unwell after a time, you can get advice from your GP out of hours service, 111 or local pharmacy. To find your nearest services you can search at
  • Last year we responded to 176 calls reporting ‘drowning’. Constantly supervise children and babies in paddling / swimming pools and don’t take the risk of swimming in dangerous waters i.e. rivers, lakes, ponds, or quarry water. Instead, cool down in your local leisure centre where swimming is supervised.
  • If you’re planning a long journey make sure you take your regular medication and plenty of water with you. Try to schedule a rest stop on route so you can have a drink and something to eat.

“Our colleagues and volunteers are working incredibly hard to get to patients in most need as quickly as possible. You can help by taking care of yourself and your loved ones in this hot weather, and by making the right decision when deciding what NHS care you need, where and when."