September 28th, 2016

Emergency calls soar as winter weather sets in

Updated: 4:53 pm, May 07, 2015

SHARP frosts and snow turned up the heat on the emergency services, with demand for ambulances soaring over the festive period.

Demand for ambulances shot up by 34 per cent in some areas as freezing weather descended on the West Midlands.

The spike started on Boxing Day, where demand was up 14 per cent on last year, with 3,273 calls compared to 2,869 in 2013.

In Birmingham and Solihull demand was up 13.9 per cent, while in Coventry and Warwickshire there was a 1.6 per cent increase on last year.

On Saturday, demand was up 15.4 per cent.

In Birmingham and Solihull demand was up by 1.7 per cent, while in Coventry and Warwickshire there was a 34 per cent increase on last year.

The total of 3,551 calls was the sixth busiest day ever for West Midlands Ambulance Service.

The volume was put down to the arrival of snow and frost, and patients accessing health services after the Christmas break.

West Midlands Ambulance Service Chief Executive, Anthony Marsh, said: “I would like to thank my staff for the astonishing effort they have put in, not only over the last few days, but over the last few weeks.

“Having been out and about on the road and in our control rooms I know the pressures the staff have been under.

“It is a mark of their dedication that they continue to provide high quality of care in very difficult circumstances.

“I would also pay tribute to the many staff who support our frontline crews.

“These include the mechanics, stores staff, ambulance fleet assistants who prepare the vehicles, hospital liaison staff, non-urgent patient transport, the officers who support these staff and the many others who carry out additional roles.

“It is a team effort and they should not be forgotten.”

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