Paramedics and police expect to be in high demand on Frantic Friday
PARAMEDICS are bracing themselves for one of their busiest nights of the year.
South East Coast Ambulance Service (Secamb) is expecting a surge in demand tomorrow – known as Frantic Friday – with people out and about celebrating ahead of the long Christmas weekend.
Roads will also be busy with traffic.
The trust is asking people to do some final checks to help ensure they keep themselves, their family and others as safe as possible.
Staff in the trust’s emergency operations centres and out on the road will be working hard to respond to patients as quickly as possible.
Life-threatening and serious calls will be prioritised but people in a less serious condition are likely to wait for an ambulance response when demand is high.
And while the service understands that a wait for an ambulance can be frustrating, it is urging callers to be patient and understanding towards its staff if their call is not assessed as requiring an immediate response.
On the final Friday before Christmas in 2016, Secamb sent a response to more than 2,100 incidents.
It also dealt with hundreds more calls with advice over the phone or by directing callers to another part of the health service.
The trust has written a wish list to help people prepare for the festive period and in turn lessen the chances of them having to call on the help of the ambulance service and wider NHS.
This includes stocking up on medicines such as painkillers, plasters, cold treatments and indigestion tablets and ordering repeat prescriptions.
The trust is also advising people to enjoy a few drinks but be sensible and make sure the turkey is well cooked to avoid salmonella poisoning.
Director of operations Joe Garcia said: “Our staff in control and out on the road always respond superbly to the increase in demand but we know that the next couple of weeks will be challenging.
“We’d urge people to consider the alternatives to dialling 999 when they’re not faced with a life- threatening or serious emergency, including calling NHS 111 for assistance.”
Source: The Argus