London’s Ambulance Service had their “busiest ever night” on New Year’s Eve with over 2,600 calls received by the service’s control room.
With excessive alcohol consumption responsible for large numbers of calls in previous years, the service laid on ‘booze buses’ to deal with patients “who were simply drunk” and didn’t require medical attention.
The service also worked with St John Ambulance and the British Red Cross to ensure adequate levels of coverage at celebration ‘hotspots’ including Trafalgar Square and the banks of the Thames where crowds gathered to watch the capital’s firework display.
Deputy Director of Operations Jason Killens said: “Demand on the Service in the early hours was extremely high and a lot of that extra demand was because of alcohol-related calls and inappropriate use of the Service – people shouldn’t be calling 999 simply because they’re drunk.
“Throughout the night we used extra resources, such as alternative response vehicles or ‘booze buses’, as well as staff on foot with medical equipment. We’ve also been working closely with St John Ambulance at temporary treatment centres meaning we were able to ensure that people out celebrating in the centre of London received the most appropriate medical care as quickly as possible.”
In October the service released statistics showing each week 50 youths need an ambulance because of excessive alcohol consumption.