Five calls a minute to paramedics

West Midlands Ambulance Service has had another busy New Years' Eve dealing with, on average, five 999 calls every 60 seconds. 

The ambulance service reported a rapid increase in calls in the first few hours of 2013 with 1291 calls in the first five hours of the year. A 9 percent increase on the same period last year. A large proportion of the calls were alcohol related.

In Bimingham there were 433 calls between midnight and 5am on New Years Day. In the Black Country 200 calls were taken compared to 147 in Coventry and Warwickshire, just over a 100 in Worcestershire and 213 in Staffordshire.

A Temporary Minor Injury Unit set up in Birmingham to deal with people who had to much alcohol treated more than 80 patients, helping to take the pressure off hospital A&E services.

Chief Executive Anthony Marsh said: "It comes as no surprise to us that New Years' Eve has been the busiest nights of the year for the Ambulance Service. It is a year in the planning for which as many staff as possible work through the night to ensure patient's get help when they need it the most.

 "The way in which the Service deals with this traditionally busy night is a tribute to all the staff and volunteers who work through the night, often without the chance of a break. I am very proud of my staff and volunteers who gave up their night to ensure the safety of everyone in the West Midlands, regardless of whether or not they spent the night celebrating the coming of the New Year."