Friday, 19 December 2008

Ambulances stretched but St John Ambulance provides vital help

Ambulance and health services will be under stress over Xmas and the New Year, but local St John Ambulance volunteers are helping out. They will be providing ambulance crews throughout the winter, and offering support to the over-stretched ambulance service at one of the busiest times of the year.

The ambulance service is under more pressure than ever as more people are calling 999. Crews will be provided across the country as part of the organisation’s role as the ambulance reserve, including London, Bristol, the North West and West Midlands.

Harry Dymond, Chief Commissioner Operations at St John Ambulance, the UK’s leading first aid charity, said: "St John Ambulance has a commitment to support the ambulance service in times of emergency as part of our role as the ambulance reserve"

"We would always expect to provide support at this time of year when calls tend to rise but the demand this year is much higher and we are supporting the service in all areas of the country, in particular London, the North West and West Midlands. We believe this is due to a colder start to the winter which exacerbates cardiac and respiratory problems, as well as an increase in falls, flu and the norovirus"

"Our advice is to call 999 only in a genuine emergency and instead use walk-in clinics, NHS direct and pharmacies. You can also use our first aid advice and podcasts"

Useful links

St John Ambulance - - click on first aid advice for basic advice and downloads
NHS Direct for advice on a wide range of health topics and conditions tel 0845 46 47 or go to

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