Use 999 service wisely in expected floods

AMBULANCE paramedics are urging the public to use the emergency 999 service more wisely over the coming days with further risk of flooding.

South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust said over the Christmas period calls to its 999 and 111 control centres increased significantly with Boxing Day being one of 2013’s busiest days.

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

Steve Carpenter, contingency, planning and resilience manager, said: “It has been extremely busy and staff have worked very hard, through some challenging conditions. Many roads have been impassable. This has made it very difficult getting to some patients as quickly as we would like.”

The public should 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 (e.g. trees or power cables) do not try to pass, find an alternative route and alert emergency services. Do not enter flood water either in a vehicle or on foot.