Ambulance Service Plans for Easter Increase in 999 Calls

 Friday 29 March 2013

The Scottish Ambulance Service expects the combination of holidays on Friday and Monday, payday this week for many and continued bad weather to create the busiest weekend of the year so far for ambulance crews.

The Service will be ensuring higher levels of frontline resources are in place at appropriate times to deal with the increase in demand.

The busy Easter weekend arrives after a week where ambulance crews in some parts of the country worst affected by recent heavy snow have been working around the clock to help their communities.

In Dumfries & Galloway, Arran and Kintyre, local crews have been supported by the Service's Special Operations Response Teams, providing additional 4x4 support to combat the challenging conditions created by heavy drifting snow.  Ambulance staff in these areas have responded to emergencies and provided additional help in the community to ensure the welfare of elderly patients and those with existing medical conditions.

Pauline Howie, Chief Executive, Scottish Ambulance Service, said:

“In recent days, our teams have been battling very challenging conditions in many parts of the country and have done a fantastic job supporting their communities

“As we look ahead the expectation is for an increase in 999 demand over the holiday weekend.  We would ask people to enjoy themselves but please drink sensibly and wrap up well for the weather conditions, which are forecast to continue to be cold.  This will help us to ensure that ambulances are being sent to the people that need them most.”

The Service continues to respond to more patients quicker, in spite of continuing increases in demand. The average response for a life threatening emergency in Scotland is 6.5 minutes.