Heatwave sees rise in 999 calls

By Steve Hayes 29/05 Updated: 29/05 07:50

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RECENT hot weather led to a big increase in 999 calls in the county.

As the mercury rose on Friday and Saturday (May 25/26) West Midlands Ambulance Service dealt with around 2,500 incidents.

In Coventry and Warwickshire the amount of calls was more than ten per cent up on the same time last year.

The service’s single busiest hour was between 8pm and 9pm on Sunday (May 27) when it received 213 emergency calls - busier than an average hour on New Year’s Eve.

Analysis of the types of calls shows the main cause of the increase was chest pains and breathing difficulties, but there was also an increase in inappropriate calls including alcohol-related incidents of assault and irresponsible behaviour.

Mark Gough, assistant chief ambulance officer, said: "The ambulance service is there for life-threatening conditions and emergencies such as choking, chest pain, a stroke, serious blood loss or a state of unconsciousness, but inappropriate calling can delay our response to those in genuine need.

"The more minor cases can be treated quickly and effectively by other areas of the NHS such as NHS Direct, a local pharmacy, walk-in centre or GP who all operate an out-of-hours service."

PET owners have been urged not to leave their animals in cars, conservatives or caravans while they enjoy the sunshine.

The RSPCA has received increased reports in the last week relating to dogs and other animals being left in hot places.

RSPCA inspector Tony Woodley said: “Most people seem to know the ‘don’t leave dogs in hot cars’ message, but I think they just don’t think anything bad will happen to their pets, particularly if they’re just leaving them for a few minutes.

“What people need to realise is that the next animal to die in a hot car, conservatory or outbuilding could be their pet - that’s how serious this is.”

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