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Stafford ambulance control drafts in extra staff for England's World Cup kick-off

By Staffordshire Newsletter  |  Posted: June 13, 2014

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THE ambulance service's emergency operations centre in Stafford is drafting in extra staff for Saturday night, when England play their first World Cup match.

And ambulance service bosses say they are gearing up for a night on a par with New Year's Eve in terms of emergency calls.

The West Midlands Ambulance Service is urging fans of all of the competing teams to make it a festival of football to remember, rather than one to forget.

Alcoholic drinks are expected to play a big part in social get-togethers during the tournament, with many people watching at home or in one of the region’s pubs and bars.

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Acting Emergency Services Director, Nathan Hudson, said: “With England’s first match set to kick off at 11pm on Saturday night, the result could play a big part in just how busy the early hours of Sunday morning are.

“As everyone knows, that is a period when we are already very busy so we have put a number of additional measures in place to ensure we can cope with the potential for even more demand.

“A lot may depend on the result of the Italy match; whether fans are celebrating or commiserating.

“In many respects we are almost treating it like a mini New Year."

There will be extra ambulances, response vehicles and paramedic officers available to respond, plus additional staff in the two emergency operations centres in Stafford and Brierley Hill.

The service's Gold co-ordination centre will be operating at headquarters.

“I am very grateful to staff for volunteering to work extra shifts at such a busy time when they could have been with friends and family watching the matches,” Mr Hudson said.

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