THE ambulance service is urging people to have a ‘summer to remember, not one to forget’ as it prepares to deal with an increasing number of 999 calls.

Warmer weather and school holidays contribute to the seasonal increase in 999 demand, according to the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST), especially in a region which attracts many tourists every summer.

And with more people enjoying sporting events like the upcoming World Cup and Tour de France, EEAST Locality Director Matt Broad said people need to ensure they’re being safe and help keep emergency calls down.

Mr Broad said: “In the summer we see increases of calls to people enjoying the outdoors such as coastal areas and open waters and, with schools closed for the summer soon, many of these will be children. We also host events like the V Festival and Latitude where people suffering from drink, substance use and heat exhaustion could have prevented a problem with more care.

“Please use common sense if spending a day out in the sun, think about drinking sensibly by having plenty of water and soft drinks, and watch out for hazards or unsafe areas around crowds and on roads that might be busier than usual on a good summer’s day. Once you have to ring 999 because of something you could have prevented, you turn your summer into something memorable for all the wrong reasons.”

Adrian Maasz, EEAST's Regional Lead for Primary Care and 111, added: “Simply put, 111 is for when it is less urgent than 999 - for those who think they have a medical condition which needs treating, but who don't need emergency care or even a trip to hospital. It is there to help people who are worried about their condition but to also support the 999 service so that our frontline staff can respond to the very seriously ill who need more care.”

For advice on a safer summer, visit Follow @EastEnglandAmb on Twitter and follow #999summer, and visit the service’s Facebook page to post your comments or queries about having a safer summer.