Bizarre ambulance calls over Halloween

editorial image

CHOKING on plastic vampire fangs and a costume fire are just some of the calls that the North West Ambulance Service received over the Halloween weekend.

NWAS has reported that 999 calls over the Halloween period soared this year, making the weekend just as busy as the traditionally demanding New Year’s Eve.

Each year NWAS sees a rise in calls on Halloween or ‘Mischief Night’ but this year saw an increase of 13 per cent compared to the previous weekend and an increase of 20 per cent for life-threatening calls.

Director of Operations, Derek Cartwright said: “The surge in calls was also seen by our neighbouring ambulance trusts so we don’t believe this was unique to the North West but it was disappointing to see so many alcohol and assault related calls.

“Our crews were kept extremely busy dealing with cut hands, head injuries, assault injuries and those who had simply too much alcohol.

“This ties up our resources for those who urgently need us and unfortunately, there were genuine cases this weekend where people had to wait longer than we would have liked for an ambulance response.

“While we do prioritise resources according to clinical need, we do still have a duty of care to those with head injuries or who are unresponsive regardless as to the reason why but many of these situations can be avoided if people took greater care of themselves and each other.”

As well as reports of assaults in pubs and clubs across the region, the trust also received calls reporting stuck contact lenses, broken fingers, a Halloween costume on fire, vomiting after drinking and someone who fell getting into a taxi late at night.

The trust even answered a 999 call from someone who was choking on a pair of plastic vampire fangs.

4,052 calls were received reporting what were deemed as life-threatening or potentially life-threatening and some of these may well have struggled to get through as those with non-urgent cases also rang 999.