It’s one of the busiest party nights of the year and the evening hundreds of workers will be out on their festive dos.
But health bosses have issued a warning to drinkers urging them to think twice about misusing the 999 service on ‘Mad Friday’.
Ambulance bosses for Yorkshire say last year there was a 16 per cent increase in the number of people dialling for an ambulance after an assault or passing out - although the calls weren’t all alcohol related.
Around 2,800 of the 999 calls received by Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust last December were alcohol-related, according to new patient record figures.
The highest number of calls believed to involve alcohol during that month were received on Christmas Eve - 155*.
Today ambulance bosses issue an appeal to revellers to think about the impact of alcohol-related calls on other ill and injured patients across the county.
Stephen Segasby, deputy director of operations at YAS, said: “While our ambulance crews are responding to patients who have simply had too much to drink or have sustained alcohol-related injuries which could have been avoided, they are not available to respond to life-threatening emergencies.
“We are not saying people shouldn’t enjoy a few alcoholic drinks while celebrating, but we would ask that they do it sensibly to ensure our ambulance crews are free to help someone who genuinely needs us.”
Traditionally, YAS sees a significant increase in the number of 999 calls on the last Friday before Christmas, which has become known as ‘Mad Friday’.
But with Christmas Day falling on a Monday this year there is the added potential for two Fridays - 15 and 22 to be ‘Mad Friday’.
Ambulance chiefs say by drinking responsibly, and looking after yourself and others, party goers can avoid putting unnecessary pressure on the ambulance service at its busiest time of the year.
They are urging festive revellers to:
- Make sure they know how they are getting home at the end of the night; book a taxi or check the time of the last bus or train
- Eat before they go out
- Stick to safe drinking levels; consider lower strength drinks and stick to singles rather than doubles
- Alternate alcoholic drinks with soft drinks or water