Use ambulance service ‘wisely’ says trust

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With further risk of flooding expected in parts of our region, South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) is urging the public to use the 999 service wisely over the coming days.

Over the Christmas period calls to 999 and 111 control centres increased significantly with Boxing Day being one of SECAmb’s busiest days so far this year.

The Trust saw nearly a third more emergency calls to its 999 control centres compared to the same day last year (2,063 in 2012 and 2,744 in 2013).

Contingency, planning and resilience Manager, Steve Carpenter said: “It has been extremely busy and staff have worked very hard, through some challenging conditions. Many roads, particularly in Kent and Surrey, have been impassable.

“This has made it very difficult getting to some patients as quickly as we would like. But we’ve had some great support from members of the public and also our specialist HART (Hazardous area response team) colleagues.”

“However, with concerns for further flooding today, we would urge the public to think very carefully about whether they need our service.

“We would also urge people to consider and check on elderly and vulnerable neighbours. We would also advise people to avoid taking unnecessary risks driving through flood water.”

The trust has issued to the following advice:

Take extra care when driving and be aware of standing water and debris on the roads

If you come across any road blockages or fallen objects (trees or power cables) do not try to pass, find an alternative route and alert emergency services.

Please do not enter flood water either in a vehicle or on foot

Take extra care near the coast and rivers.

In high winds, be especially aware of structures that may become unsafe.