Busiest ever New Year for paramedics

SUFFOLK'S emergency services endured a testing start to 2008 with the ambulance service reporting it's busiest ever New Year's eve. Between midnight and 5am ambulances were called out 82 times, making it officially twice as busy as an average weekend night.

SUFFOLK'S emergency services endured a testing start to 2008 with the ambulance service reporting it's busiest ever New Year's eve.

Between midnight and 5am ambulances were called out 82 times, making it officially twice as busy as an average weekend night.

Compared with last Saturday night, the service received three hundred per cent more call outs on New Year's eve.

An East of England of Ambulance spokesperson said around 75 per cent of calls were to drunken or drug related incidents, and there were 21 known assaults in Suffolk which they were called to.

He said: “Without doubt it has been the busiest in Suffolk we have ever had.”

He said people being irresponsible with drink and a higher ownership of mobile phones than ever before were likely reasons.

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The service attended 63 of the calls in a hectic period between midnight and 3am, with the spokesperson admitting they had been stretched despite drafting extra staff in.

He said: “With that many calls you are going to be stretched and there is no doubt we found it difficult to reach people as quickly as if there were fewer calls.”

The volume of calls over the New Year period for the service was clocked as 194 in total - 35 more incidents than the previous year.

Suffolk Constabulary also reported a busy night but said they didn't deal with anything more than minor incidents, although the volume of calls was high.

The new custody unit in Ipswich was said to be “absolutely inundated” following the busy night.

Police in Cambridgeshire took 460 emergency calls between 10pm on New Year's Eve and 6am the following morning. Inspector Jamie Rice described the night as “busy” but added none of the incidents dealt with by the force was serious.

The fire service didn't report any major incidents in the county but were called out to deal with two car fires, one suspicious, in Ipswich early yesterday.

A spokesperson said a car which was found alight on Queen's Way at 7.21am was being investigated.

Another vehicle was found on Turner Road at 6.14am, he said.

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