Ambulance weekend call-outs soar as snow hits Norfolk

Ambulance crews were called to nearly twice as many collisions over the weekend as the same weekend last year, as snowy conditions took their toll on the roads.

The service received 3,700 calls between 11pm on Saturday and 9am today – an increase of 23pc against the same weekend in 2011.

A total of 65 of those calls were collisions, compared to 36 in the equivalent weekend in 2011, and 17 more than last weekend.

But the number of patients requiring hospital treatment following a collision this weekend was significantly lower than seven days previous and the same weekend last year, with only one hospital admission via ambulance in Norfolk.

Alan Murray, EEAST director of operations, thanked his staff and volunteers for their efforts over the weekend, but reminded drivers to be careful.

He said: 'It has been an incredibly busy weekend and our staff and volunteers have worked exceptionally hard to make sure patients got the care they needed.

'We have had control room, frontline and support staff making their way into work in treacherous conditions, community first responders going out despite heavy snow and ice and our Rover Rescue 4x4 team have been invaluable in helping us to get to particularly difficult locations.'

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He added that members of the public had helped patients and staff at times, including towing ambulances out of the snow and clearing roads for emergency vehicle access.

He said: 'We continue to warn people to take care of themselves and while out driving. Road conditions are potentially more dangerous now with black ice replacing snow so please drive carefully and only do so if you need to.

'We want to keep this weekend's low number of hospital admissions that way.'

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