Ambulance service gearing up for busy New Year’s Eve

30 December 2021

Members of the public are being urged to think before they call 999 as Yorkshire Ambulance Service prepares for a busy start to 2022.

The service is expecting around 4,500 ‘999’ calls New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day which equates to an average of one call every 20 seconds.

By only calling 999 in a life-threatening or serious emergency, this will ensure ambulances remain available for those who really need time-critical help.

Nick Smith, Executive Director of Operations for Yorkshire Ambulance Service, said: “Our staff and volunteers are working incredibly hard in really challenging circumstances at the moment. You can help them by only calling 999 if someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk. For less urgent medical matters, we would urge you to consider other healthcare options.

“At this time of year, we see an increase in avoidable alcohol-related incidents. Many people that we attend who have had too much to drink don’t actually need an ambulance, they just need their friends to look after them and help them get home safely and sober up.”

You can avoid putting unnecessary pressure on the ambulance service at its busiest time of the year by making sure you drink responsibly:

  • 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.
  • Look after each other – make sure everyone you’re celebrating with is safe and able to get home.

Genuine 999 calls include chest pain, difficulty breathing, loss of consciousness, severe loss of blood, severe burns and scalds, choking, fitting/convulsions, drowning, severe allergic reaction, heart attack, stroke and major trauma such as a serious road traffic accident, stabbing, shooting, fall from height or a serious head injury.

For other illnesses and injuries, consider other more appropriate healthcare services such as:

  • Self-care
  • Pharmacist
  • Visit the NHS website
  • GP
  • Visit NHS 111 online at or call 111
  • Urgent treatment centre/walk-in centre/minor injuries unit
  • Make your own way to your local A&E.

Produced by: Corporate Communications Department