Call to use emergency 999 number wisely

From left, Terence Rierkert, Matt Chapman, Steve Kramer, Dan Deeks, Theresa Newstead, Simon Freeman and Josh Roux
Picture: Ian Hargreaves (170948-1)

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PATIENTS are urged to use the 999 emergency number wisely after figures revealed a sharp rise in calls over Christmas.

Calls to South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Trust, which covers Sussex, rose by almost a third to 2,744 on Boxing Day from 2,063 last year.

Steve Carpenter, contingency, planning and resilience manager, said: ‘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 floodwater.’

People are urged to take extra care when driving and look out for standing water and debris.

The trust is also urging people to find alternative routes and alert the emergency services to road blockages or fallen objects.