Think Before You Drink This Friday

19 December 2018

Ambulance on blue lights at night

Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust predict they will receive more than 3,500 emergency and routine 999 calls on Friday 21 December 2018. The Trust are appealing for the public to drink responsibly as they prepare to deal with up to 35% more calls than average.

The last Friday before Christmas is a popular day for Christmas parties and often people finish work early and head out drinking with friends. Yorkshire Ambulance Service is asking everyone to think carefully about the impact of drinking to excess and reminding them to keep themselves and others safe.

Dr Steven Dykes, the Trust’s Deputy Medical Director, said “Whilst we are dealing with alcohol-related incidents that could have been avoided we are not available to respond to life-threatening emergencies.

“We acknowledge that many of the alcohol-related calls we receive do require an emergency response and whilst these 999 calls are not inappropriate they could be avoided. We simply ask that you think before you drink so you don’t spoil your own night by ending it in the back of an ambulance.

By drinking responsibly, and looking after yourself and others, you can avoid putting unnecessary pressure on the ambulance service at its busiest time of the year:

  • Plan your journey home before you head out; book a taxi or check the time of the last bus or train
  • Eat before drinking
  • Stick to safer drinking levels; consider lower strength drinks and stick to singles rather than doubles.
  • Alternate alcoholic drinks with soft drinks or water.

Heavy drinking not only increases the risk of accidents but can also lead to a rise in violent attacks and assaults, including those against ambulance staff.

Steven said, “We want everyone to enjoy the festive period, including our staff on duty. They are there to help people in their hour of need and it’s unacceptable to abuse or assault them. We operate a zero-tolerance policy towards violence and work closely with our police colleagues to ensure that any offenders are prosecuted.”

To find out more about the importance of using the service appropriately check out the Trust’s Think Before You Call campaign on their website or follow #ThinkBeforeYouCall on social media. 

Watch this video to hear Paramedics Liam and Matondo's advice for nights out and how to enjoy yourselves responsibly.

Produced by: Corporate Communications Department