Help us to help you in the East Midlands this New Year

Help us to help you in the East Midlands this New Year

Ambulances handing over in snow outside a hospital

East Midlands Ambulance Service is appealing to people across the region to enjoy a safe New Year’s Eve, and help its crews reach those most in need this year.

Despite COVID-19 restrictions meaning an unusual Christmas for many, our ambulance crews have still been busy helping thousands of people across the East Midlands.

New Year’s Eve is normally the busiest night of the year for our 999 call takers, ambulance dispatchers, control centre clinicians and ambulance crews, and while we may not be needed as much in our town and city centres this year due to pubs and bars being closed, we are still planning for a surge in demand from people at home.

You can do your bit to help reduce pressure on the NHS this new year by celebrating safely with your household or support bubble, following government guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and drinking responsibly.

Dr Mark Folman, GP and Deputy Medical Director at EMAS, said: “New Year’s Eve is always a great opportunity to celebrate, and while most people drink responsibly, there are always some who drink too much and require medical help.

“This year it is easier to accidentally drink more because people’s alcohol tolerance may also be different if they’ve not been out drinking socially for some time due to pandemic restrictions, and it is easier to get a drink at home than if you were out in a pub or bar.

“However, while our ambulance crew is responding to someone who has had too much to drink, it means we cannot be responding to someone else experiencing a medical emergency.

“Our message to everyone this year is to stay home, take extra care, drink in moderation and see 2021 in safely.”

Firework in the night sky in the distance, pictured over yellow ambulance

Follow these tips for a safe and hangover-free celebration:

·       Enjoy yourself but don’t drink excessive amounts of alcohol

·       Alternate alcoholic drinks with a glass of water or fruit juice – this will help to prevent you from becoming dehydrated

·       Never drink on an empty stomach

·       Know your limits: both men and women should not regularly drink more than two to three units a day (a 250ml glass of wine contains three units)

Richard Henderson, East Midlands Ambulance Service Chief Executive said:

“We are here for people when they need us most. We have additional staff, volunteers and vehicles on duty this year to cope with demand, but I ask you to help us by celebrating New Year’s Eve sensibly, so we can prioritise our crews for those in the most serious need.

“Our frontline and control room teams, and our amazing volunteers will be working incredibly hard this year, sometimes in very challenging environments, to get to people in need. I thank everyone working over the New Year from the bottom of my heart for their ongoing commitment to their communities and EMAS.”