More than 1,000 calls in two days

A COCKTAIL of warm weather and socialising was responsible for 1,200 emergency calls to ambulance staff in just two days.A spokesman for the crews today said paramedics were as busy answering 999 calls in the region as they were during the weekend England played in last month's World Cup quarter finals.

A COCKTAIL of warm weather and socialising was responsible for 1,200 emergency calls to ambulance staff in just two days.

A spokesman for the crews today said paramedics were as busy answering 999 calls in the region as they were during the weekend England played in last month's World Cup quarter finals.

With little respite expected from the current heatwave, medics are bracing themselves for a continuing torrent of demands for help.

Matthew Ware, spokesman for the East of England Ambulance Service, said a total of 1,207 calls were received from Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire last weekend. Suffolk alone, was responsible for 352 of them.

Mr Ware said: “The figure is almost identical to the weekend when England played Portugal. It just proves it's not just football-related. It is probably a lot more to do with the hot weather and the fact more people are out and about, so there's more chance of having accidents.”

As well the social aspect encouraged by the high temperatures, the hot weather also has an impact on those struggling with existing illnesses.

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Mr Ware said: “When it's as hot as this, people with medical conditions such as breathing or heart-related problems might suffer a deterioration which might require an ambulance.

“We are trying to urge people to look after themselves, keep as cool as possible if you have trouble breathing or a heart condition, drink plenty of water and stay out of the sun.”

Despite the welter of emergencies, ambulance crews managed to beat their target time of getting to 75 per cent of incidents in less than eight minutes.

Mr Ware said: “In Suffolk we achieved 77.14pc of life-threatening calls within eight minutes which is above target. It really is quite incredible. You would expect it to be lower with that amount of calls over the weekend.

“It is a testament to the fact that our men and women are working incredibly hard.”

N Would you like to pay tribute to the work of the ambulance crews? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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