Ambulance boss attacks yob culture

AMBULANCE bosses today launched a scathing attack on yob culture after a massive increase in emergencies over Easter.In Suffolk alone, 999 calls rose by nearly 20 per cent compared to last year.

AMBULANCE bosses today launched a scathing attack on yob culture after a massive increase in emergencies over Easter.

In Suffolk alone, 999 calls rose by nearly 20 per cent compared to last year. Many were said to have been as a consequence of irresponsible behaviour sparked by drink or drugs.

A record number of Easter emergencies led one senior manager to lambast some as being “totally avoidable” and urge people to take more responsibility for themselves and others.

Rob Lawrence, director of operations for the East Anglian Ambulance NHS Trust (EAAT), said: “A look through our computer logs for Saturday makes pretty grim reading. About 12 per cent of emergency calls were drink, drug or violence related.

“This situation has been deteriorating for some years now and it's about time people started taking some responsibility, not only for themselves, but for the welfare of their friends.

“The ambulance service and 999 is rapidly becoming a greater health and social care safety net than it has ever been in the past.

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“To cope with that increasing demand we need to deal with and reduce the unnecessary workload and unfortunately the majority of this is drink and drug-related. All we ask is that common sense prevails.”

It was by far the busiest Easter on record in Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire, with 611 emergency responses on Saturday alone, the fifth busiest day on record. The corresponding Saturday last year saw just 493 calls.

In Suffolk the 21 ambulances and rapid responder vehicles on duty coped with nearly 200 emergencies for the same day this year.

Over the four-day Easter period paramedics responded to 620 emergency calls in Suffolk, compared with 529 in 2004.

Crews and paramedics were praised for arriving at 72.6 per cent of life-threatening emergencies within eight minutes.

Mr Lawrence said: “We did remarkably well to reach so many people so quickly given the circumstances, but there is naturally a greater chance of delays when you get such huge peaks of demand.”

Matthew Ware, a spokesman for the EAAT, told of the toll the increased demand takes on staff.

He said: “The increase in calls means they are doing more and more jobs and have less time to recover between them. They are not automatons. It's a stressful job when you go out on a call and have no idea what you are going to see. They do need some time to gather their thoughts, before they get back on the road again.”

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