by DAVID FREEZER
Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Calls to the ambulance service on New Year’s Eve were slightly down in the east of England this year.
There were 308 calls responded to by the East of England Ambulance Service (EEAST) in Norfolk between 7pm on New Year’s Eve and 7am on New Year’s Day, and 229 in Suffolk.
EEAST responded to nearly double the amount of calls it gets on an average night across its region, which also includes Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire.
A total of 1,970 calls were dealt with by EEAST, an average of more than 164 an hour, which was marginally down on the 1,989 calls received the year before.
The 308 calls in Norfolk was down from 362 during the previous New Year’s night of 2011-2012, while Suffolk was slightly up, from 219 calls last year to 229 this year.
Overall the EEAST control room and front-line staff responded to 893 calls.
Resources were boosted to prepare for what is traditionally the busiest night of the year for the emergency services, including initiatives such as ‘see and treat’ tents and temporary minor injuries units.
EEAST’s director for emergency operations, Neil Storey, said: “My thanks and praise go out to all our staff and volunteers who worked during this difficult shift.
“While a downward trend, however slight, is good news and a sign that perhaps people are taking note of our advice, it’s still a very busy start to the year.”