New year safety call as ambulance service prepares for 'busiest night'

Kidderminster Shuttle: New year safety call as ambulance service prepares for 'busiest night' New year safety call as ambulance service prepares for 'busiest night'

NEW year's revellers are being urged to see in 2014 safely.

West Midlands Ambulance Service is gearing up for what is traditionally its busiest night of the year when demand and call numbers double.

The West Mercia Safer Roads Partnership is reminding all road users – including pedestrians and motorists – to share the road responsibly and look out for each other this new year.

Towns are expected to be busy tonight with new year celebrations taking place.

An ambulance service spokesman said: "While the vast majority of people in the region will be out celebrating, our staff will be working flat out. We will have dozens of additional staff working overnight staffing additional ambulances and rapid response vehicles.

"In addition, we will be working with voluntary organisations including St John Ambulance, the Red Cross and Community First Responders.

"The last thing we want to do is stop people having a good time and welcoming in the new year in fine style but our experience of previous Hogmanay celebrations means we will be expecting to see many preventable injuries.

"Sadly, because our staff are dealing with these, they aren't available to get to the truly life threatening calls as quickly as they might have been able to which ultimately puts the lives of other people at risk."

He added: "“As well as being busy, ambulance crews find themselves on the receiving end of anti-social behaviour from patients and the public who are often the worse for wear from drink or drugs. Please treat our staff as you would want to be treated yourself.

“Sadly, if this year is like the last few, we will have staff who will experience people shouting abuse at them. Others will be kicked and punched and even spat at by patients and their friends and family.

“Make no mistake, wherever possible, we will press charges and work tirelessly to make people account for their despicable actions in the courts. Our staff are there to help people in their hour of need, please allow them to do so without fear or violence.”

Vicki Bristow, communications manager at the Safer Roads Partnership, said: “With one of the busiest nights of the year upon us, we’re encouraging all road users to share the road responsibly."

New year road users are also being warned there will be a huge number of cars, buses and taxis on the roads and all motorists are being asked to look out for other road users who may be more vulnerable, particularly at night when it’s dark and pedestrians may be coming out of pubs and clubs after drinking.

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