AMBULANCE workers are urging the public to use 999 wisely over Easter to avoid unnecessary pressure.
Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust saw a significant increase in calls in 2011 and expect to be just as busy this year.
Alan Baranowski, locality director for Emergency Operations in South Yorkshire, said: “Typically more people will be out and about socialising which can lead to more people becoming ill or injured, and we usually see a rise in alcohol-fuelled incidents too.
“Our staff often respond to patients who have reported a serious condition only to find they have a minor illness or injury which would have been more appropriately dealt with by NHS Direct, a local pharmacist, a GP or a minor injuries unit and this could delay us getting to someone with a more serious or life-threatening condition.
“We don’t want to deter people from calling 999 in a genuine medical emergency and would like to reassure members of the public that we will have additional resources in place to manage the anticipated rise in demand during the busy period.
“All we ask is that people think carefully about whether they really need to call 999 for an emergency ambulance or whether someone else’s need could be greater.”
NHS Direct can be contacted on 0845 46 47.