With the first England match fast approaching, the region’s ambulance service is urging football fans across the county to drink responsibly and stay safe during the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Alcoholic drinks are expected to play a big part in social get-togethers during the tournament, with many people watching at home or in one of the county’s pubs and bars.
Alcohol is one of the leading causes of accidents in the UK as individuals who are under the influence are more likely to take risks which may lead to accidents. This has prompted Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust to ask members of the public to be mindful of the dangers of drinking too much and urge them to take extra care of themselves and others.
The Trust also warns that the associated risks of heavy drinking can also lead to them experiencing a rise in assaults, including those against ambulance staff, and a significant increase in incidents involving domestic violence.
David Williams, Deputy Director of Operations at Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust, said that there is a link between major sporting occasions and heavy drinking which, in turn, results in an increase in medical emergencies which are alcohol-related.
He said: “We are not saying people shouldn’t enjoy themselves, but unfortunately ambulance clinicians have to pick up the pieces following alcohol-fuelled incidents and our valuable life-saving resources are often caught up responding to these calls which perhaps could have been avoided.
“It’s easy to forget how much alcohol you have consumed when you are enjoying yourself and people don’t always stop to consider the consequences of their actions. But people should remember that while we are dealing with someone who is ill or injured because they have consumed an excessive amount of alcohol, it may delay us providing life-saving treatment to someone suffering from a heart attack or stroke.”
Staff at Yorkshire Ambulance Service will be working hard over the coming weeks and the Trust will be utilising additional resources during what are predicted to be some of the busiest times of the competition.
David continued: “We want to make sure that the 2014 FIFA World Cup is one people will remember for all the right reasons and that our highly-trained ambulance staff are available for the people who really need them. So, please act responsibly and enjoy the competition in the spirit such a great sporting event is all about.”
The Trust is also reminding people only to call 999 for an ambulance in a medical emergency when it is obvious that they or another person has a serious or life-threatening illness or injury and are in need of time-critical help. For advice and treatment for non-emergencies and less serious conditions, people should consider options such as a visit to a local pharmacist or GP surgery, a call to NHS 111 or a visit to a walk-in centre.