Support the ambulance service this World Cup as they see busier night than New Year's Eve | Knutsford Times

Support the ambulance service this World Cup as they see busier night than New Year’s Eve

By on July 10, 2018

Following a huge surge in 999 calls after England’s victory at the weekend, North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) is urging people to make sure that they get home safely after tomorrow’s England match and to only dial 999 in serious or life-threatening emergencies.

With all the excitement, hot weather and excess drinking, the ambulance service handled 19 per cent more 999 calls on Saturday (7 July) than the average weekend and as England face Croatia in the semi-final tomorrow (11 July), the trust is expecting another surge in the hours after the final whistle. The previous weekend, the service answered 8,631 emergency calls but on Saturday, the control rooms answered a staggering 10,281 – unfortunately, not all of these calls were true emergencies and added to the pressure and more importantly, could have prevented someone in a real emergency from getting through.

Some examples of the less serious calls received during and in the aftermath Saturday’s match included, eating an out of date burger two days ago, swallowing tobacco from a cigarette , bruised foot after jumping over a garden wall the day before, a request for a repeat prescription and someone who had hurt their leg on holiday in Spain and called 999 on their return as it still hurt.

Steve Hynes, Deputy Director of Operations for NWAS, said: “Although an ambulance did not respond to these calls, they still took up precious time and resources and added to the pressure in an already very busy control room.

“Over the weekend, we also saw a 30% increase in calls to life-threatening category 1, the most serious, emergencies compared to an average weekend and it’s really important that our ambulance crews and emergency operations centres are kept free for these patients who are in genuine need.

“Many of the less urgent calls we received were for injuries sustained due to ‘over exuberant’ celebrations and while we too are as excited as anyone about England’s success so far, we urge people to look after themselves and refrain from actions which could cause them, or someone else an injury.

“We have extra resources in place during England’s matches so while you are enjoying the atmosphere in your local, spare a thought for the hundreds of ambulance and NHS staff who will be continuing to provide a service, knowing your limits and looking out for each other will be the best way you can help them. Remember we’re all in this together!”

As England moves further along in the competition and the sun continues, a few simple tips will help make sure that we all enjoy the beautiful game safely:

  • Know your limits – drink water between alcohol and avoid drinking to excess
  • Plan ahead – be sure to know how you’ll get home
  • Look out for each other – make sure pals get home safely and enjoy the game together
  • Be prepared for the hot weather – stock up on sunscreen, stay hydrated and keep out of the midday sun

Remember 999 is for life-threatening emergencies – NHS 111, GPs and local pharmacies can help for less-urgent health conditions

About Lucy Thorpe

Lucy Thorpe is a freelance journalist who writes for the Knutsford Times - covering stories and news in and around Cheshire and Greater Manchester. If you've got a story to share, or would like to speak to Lucy, please email

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