New Year sees major rise in South East ambulance calls

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Ambulance crews in the South East saw a major increase in callouts on New Year's Eve compared with last year.

Statistics from South East Coast Ambulance Service said there were 1,544 calls between 22:00 GMT on New Year's Eve and 04:00 GMT on New Year's Day.

A spokesman said the figures showed a rise of more than 20% compared with the same period last year.

Ambulance trust managers had warned of an expected rise in demand and urged people to use the service wisely.

The trust had extra staff on standby for New Year's Eve after figures for late December and the Christmas period also showed an increase in demand compared with 2011.

Spokesman James Pavey confirmed that additional resources would be available on New Year's Eve, but still warned that demand would almost outstrip supply.

He said some of the calls would be "filtered" because people sometimes needed advice and to be pointed to a different service rather than an ambulance.

Crews also used specialist software to predict where many emergency calls would come from so vehicles could be in the right place at the right time.

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