The North West Ambulance Service is asking the public to take extra care as the region experiences its first real hot spell of the year and says it is expecting a surge in 999 calls over the coming weekend as temperatures are set to rise.
The majority of the 999 calls the Trust receives are for genuinely ill people and during periods of hot weather, there is a marked increase in the number of people experiencing respiratory problems, such as asthma. But many of the incidents the Trust is called to can be easily avoided.
Director of Emergency Services, Derek Cartwright explains:
“We all want to enjoy the warm weather but no-one wants to spend a warm evening in an accident and emergency department.
During the summer, we traditionally see a rise in the number of cases such as assaults and falls due to alcohol misuse, accidents with barbecues and children who go swimming in lakes and rivers, so we would urge people to think carefully about what they
Our services are urgently needed by those who are seriously ill or have life-threatening conditions and the public can help us by not calling 999 unless it is a serious emergency and by taking care of themselves and others.”
The Trust has issued some advice which it hopes will help avoid accidents which often occur during the summer months.
- If you are thinking of doing a spot of gardening at the weekend, check your tools are in good working order and especially take care when using power tools or climbing ladders.
- Alternate alcoholic drinks with water or soft drinks – in the heat you will be dehydrated and alcohol makes that worse.
- Wear appropriate sun protection to avoid sunburn and sunstroke – remember hats and cover up children as much as possible. NEVER leave a child in a car in the sun for any length of time.
- Don’t go swimming in lakes, rivers, canals or reservoirs – some have unseen currents which can pull you under and the water is a lot colder than you think/would expect.
- keep your children safe when they are playing on scooters and bikes – provide them with safety headwear to avoid a head injury should they fall.
- Barbecues and alcohol do not mix! Never use an accelerant to light the barbecue and remember the coals are hot for a long time after they have gone out.
‘The advice may seem straightforward but these are the types of avoidable accidents we see every day during the hot weather.
‘By keeping safe, we can all enjoy the Summer, however, brief it may be, and we can ensure that those who really need our help can receive a timely response.’