999 calls to West Midlands Ambulance Service rise as the heatwave continues

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With the heat wave continuing and the hottest day of the year recorded over the weekend, ambulance crews were once again under pressure to deal with high numbers of 999 calls.

West Midlands Ambulance Service received 3,168 999 calls on Saturday and 2,890 on Sunday.

These figures are very similar to that recorded last weekend and represent a 24 per cent increase in calls compared with the same period last year.

Daren Fradgley, WMAS Assistant Chief Ambulance Officer, said: “With the heat wave continuing across the West Midlands, the ambulance service once again recorded high levels of demand over the weekend.

“The figures are similar to the previous weekend with demand on the service remaining extremely high.

“High temperatures are expected to remain with us this week and we are appealing to members of the public to stay safe in the sun by following a few simple steps to avoid the need to dial 999.”

· If you’re out in the sun make sure you apply plenty of sun cream, wear a hat and light, loose fitting cotton clothes. Avoid being out between 11am and 3pm, which is the hottest part of the day.

· Drink plenty of fluids, such as water, to keep yourself hydrated. Remember, caffeine and alcohol can have the opposite effect and can actually dehydrate you.

· Fancy a swim? Then please do so in a supervised swimming pool. No matter how tempting it is to cool off in rivers and lakes. The Trust has sadly dealt with three fatal incidents in open water in the past week.

· If a barbecue is on the cards, please ensure that it is lit safely and in the correct manner. Avoid burn injuries by using the correct utensils and don’t let children play too closely to the hot barbecue. Lastly, please make sure that all food is cooked through properly to avoid any food poisoning incidents.

· If you’re taking advantage of the sunshine and are going out for a walk or hike in the countryside, please make sure you wear the appropriate footwear to avoid any slips or trips.

· If you’re planning on hitting the road for a trip away, make sure you’re prepared for your journey, take food and drinks and remember to break the journey up. If driving in residential areas, please watch out for ice cream vans and any children that may be distracted around them.

· We would also ask bikers to be careful and wear appropriate safety clothing. Equally we ask car drivers to look out for bikers, as the number of these on the road will be significantly higher when the weather is good.”