STAFFORDSHIRE ambulance chiefs paid tribute to hard-working staff after a busy New Year’s Eve saw 999 calls escalating to a rate of five every 60 seconds.
During the last four hours of 2012 999 calls steadily increased with the service receiving a total of 638 calls, a 15 per cent increase on the same period last year, and 146 in Staffordshire alone.
After midnight, calls escalated even more rapidly, with the peak coming between 1am and 4am, mostly alcohol-related incidents including fights, assaults, falls and overdoses, and reaching a rate of an average of five calls every 6o seconds.
In the first five hours of the new year, West Midlands Ambulance Service receieved 1291, a 9 per cent increase on the same period last year, with 213 of those calls coming from Staffordshire.
Chief executive Anthony Marsh said it came as no surprise the night proved the busiest of the year for the service.
“It is a year in the planning for which as many staff as possible work through the night to ensure patient’s get help when they need it the most.,” he said. “The way in which the service deals with this traditionally busy night is a tribute to all the staff and volunteers who work through the night, often without the chance of a break.”
Mr Marsh said he was ‘very proud’ of staff and volunteers who gave up their night to ensure the safety the public.