A Christmas challenge for staff and volunteers

Blurred ambulance

Ambulance bosses have praised staff and volunteers for helping thousands of 999 callers and patients this Christmas.

Between 7pm on Christmas Eve to 11pm on Boxing Day, our EOCs received 6,017 calls between them – this compares to 6,155 in 2014/15 and 5,468 in 2013/14.

Chief Executive Robert Morton has thanked staff and volunteers for dealing with what he described as “a busy time in an already challenging winter”.

“We know that when someone calls 999, it can be a traumatic time for them; during Christmas it can be particularly hard because it should be a time of celebration and enjoyment,” he said. “You all worked extremely hard to help respond to every call in the most appropriate way possible, thank you.”

We face our traditionally busiest day of the year on 1st January, and our Twitter followers will get a snapshot into EEAST life as we tweet live on @EastEnglandAmb from an ambulance on the day. Last year, we dealt with 3,376 calls.

Meanwhile, Robert is also urging the public to help reverse the trend of a high call demand on the days ahead, where calls rise and then peak on New Year’s Day. Speaking to the media, he said: “This week will mean more demand on our service as people recover from the weekend’s break and unfortunately may have worsening conditions, and so please help us spread the vital health messages with friends and family. By taking some simple steps with your health, wellbeing and safety, the chances of you needing any emergency care are greatly reduced and you can get on with enjoying the best of the season.

"Would you want a member of your family to have to wait for an ambulance because we are already responding to someone whom has really overdone it? Would you want a loved one who is working for the ambulance service to be threatened or assaulted while responding to an alcohol related 999 calls?”

The breakdown of calls and responses for the region were as follows (last year's figures in brackets):

  • Bedfordshire: 578 (591)
  • Cambridgeshire: 804 (802)
  • Essex: 1,901 (1,978)
  • Hertfordshire: 950 (1,042)
  • Norfolk: 974 (956)
  • Suffolk: 810 (786)
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