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SOUTH East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust has thanked its staff and the public after hundreds of emergency calls were made over Christmas and the new year.

Ambulance crews and the trust’s hazardous area response teams were heavily involved in incidents relating to the flooding in West Sussex with assistance from emergency operations centre and NHS 111 staff.

On New Year’s Eve and between 10pm and 4am on New Year’s Day, SECAmb received 1,160 999 calls across the region – an average of more than three calls a minute.

On New Year’s Day, approximately 3,500 calls were made to the service over the 24-hour period. This compares to the previous day’s total of around 1,700 calls.

SECAmb chief executive Paul Sutton said: ‘With the additional challenge of the floods this year, all our staff had to work extremely hard to meet the demand placed upon them.

‘I’m extremely proud of how everyone rose to the challenge. At busy periods such as this they never fail to do so.’