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'Enjoy Euro 2016, but please stay safe'

With the UEFA Euro 2016 kick-off today and England's first match fast approaching, the region's ambulance service is urging football fans to enjoy the tournament responsibly.

With many people watching the tournament at home or in one of the county's pubs and bars, alcoholic drinks are expected to play a big part. Alcohol is one of the leading causes of accidents in the UK as individuals who are under the influence are more likely to take risks which may lead to accidents. Heavy drinking can also lead to a rise in assaults, including those against ambulance staff, and a significant increase involving domestic violence.

Dr David Macklin, Executive Director of Operations at Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust, said: "We know that there is a link between major sporting events and heavy drinking, which results in an increase in alcohol-related medical emergencies. We don't want to stop anyone from having a good time, but we do want people to drink responsibly and look after themselves and others.

"Please be aware of how much you're drinking, eat beforehand, plan ahead for transport home if you're watching the games at a friend's house or the pub, and look after yourself and your friends."

Yorkshire Ambulance Service is also reminding people only to call 999 for an ambulance in a medical emergency when it is obvious that they or another person has a serious or life-threatening illness or injury and are in need of time-critical help. For advice and treatment for non-emergencies and less serious conditions, people should consider using other healthcare services.

Dr Macklin added: "Our highly-trained ambulance staff are often called to trivial incidents and minor conditions which can potentially put those with life-threatening illnesses and injuries at risk by diverting ambulances elsewhere. We want people to remember the 2016 Euro for the right reasons and keep our vital resources for those who really need them."

Produced By: Corporate Communications Department