HALLOWEEN turned out to be one of the most busiest nights of the year for West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) staff with emergency calls up by more than a quarter on last weekend.
Overnight between 8pm on Saturday (October 31) and 5am on Sunday (November 1), there were 1,439 999 calls.
Last weekend – during the same times between October 24 and 25 – there were 1,143.
With the exception of 1am to 2am, call numbers were above expected levels every single hour during the 8pm to 5am time frame.
The peak came between 11pm and midnight when there were 191 requests for help – the estimated number of calls for that hour was 110.
Emergency services director, Craig Cooke, said: “We knew this was likely to be a very busy time for us so we put considerably more ambulances on duty than we would normally have done, but it was still extremely busy for our staff.
“Our staff had to deal with a number of very serious incidents during this period, but did so with care, compassion and tremendous skill.”
He paid tribute to the way his staff’s skills were used to ensure patients received the most appropriate treatment for their condition, ensuring only those who needed to go hospital went there, reducing pressure on other parts of the health service.
And his calls were reiterated by WMAS Chief Executive Anthony Marsh.
He said: “I’d like to thank all of the staff and volunteers who have worked this weekend for their very considerable efforts dealing with such a large number of 999 calls.
“It is only by everyone pulling together that we have been able to provide the best care possible despite being one of the busiest nights of the year.”