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Be Alcohol Aware

19 November 2013

Ambulance service urges people to drink safely as it supports Alcohol Awareness Week

As part of Alcohol Awareness Week 2013 (18-24 November), Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust is calling on people to drink responsibly to keep themselves and others safe from harm.

Alcohol is one of the leading causes of accidents in the UK and ambulance crews are too often called to pick up the pieces at incidents where someone has become ill or injured as a result of excessive alcohol consumption.

David Williams, Deputy Director of Operations at Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust, said: “Individuals who are under the influence of alcohol are more likely to take risks which could lead to accidents and, unfortunately, the seriousness of any illness or injury they may sustain is likely to be greater than if they were sober.

“On Friday and Saturday nights, staff in our Emergency Operations Centres see a noticeable increase in the number of people calling for an ambulance where alcohol is believed to have been a factor. In addition, ambulance crews working night shifts at the weekends, particularly those who operate in urban areas, expect to spend much of their time dealing with alcohol-fuelled incidents such as falls, assaults and alcohol poisoning.”

The Trust has been working closely with its healthcare partners, local authorities and the police to address the difficulties it experiences in dealing with alcohol-related incidents.
A joint initiative has seen a number of police and paramedic teams in rapid response vehicles operating in busy town and city centres. People who have often suffered a minor injury are seen quicker, the police have a paramedic immediately on scene, the number of unnecessary trips to hospital emergency departments are reduced and ambulances are left to deal with more serious emergencies.
David added: “What some people may not stop to consider is that an ambulance crew caught up dealing with an alcohol-related incident that could have been avoided, can then be delayed from reaching someone with a more serious life-threatening condition such as a heart attack.
“We don’t want people to stop enjoying themselves but we would like to make sure our valuable resources are there for the people who really need us.  Please drink responsibly to protect yourselves and others and free up our services for those whose lives are at risk.”

For information and advice about the effects of alcohol on lives and lifestyles, visit the Drinkaware website: www.drinkaware.co.uk


Notes to Editor:

1. Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust covers almost 6,000 square miles of varied terrain from isolated moors and dales to urban areas, coastline and inner cities and provides 24-hour emergency and healthcare services to a population of more than five million people. The organisation receives an average of 2,180 emergency and urgent calls per day and employs over 4,600 staff.

Produced By: Corporate Communications Department