THE AMBULANCE service is expecting another busy weekend after a rise in 999 calls between last Friday and Saturday.
On average, West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) operators took 19 per cent more emergency calls than they did the previous weekend as residents celebrated Halloween and bonfire night.
In Worcestershire it was a 20.2 per cent increase on the same time last year, with 286 calls made from the county during that time.
WMAS’ emergency services director Craig Cooke said: “Whilst many people were out enjoying themselves this weekend, our staff were working incredibly hard to deal with the busiest day since New Year’s Eve.
“Sadly, we are fully expecting to see more firework injuries like the one in Birmingham on Friday night that left a young man with serious eye and hand injuries.
“It is also expected to get much colder this week which will affect many patients with long-term conditions particularly badly.”
He urged anyone considering calling 999 to think about whether that was the best place to get the medical help they need.
Those unsure can dial 111 in the first instance, where staff will offer help and advice or transfer the call to the ambulance service if necessary.
He also suggested people considered self-care, pharmacists, GPs, in or out of hours, minor injuries units and walk in centres.
“By using these services correctly it means that the ambulance service is available to respond to those in a critical condition as quickly as possible, and ultimately save lives.” added Mr Cooke.