EMERGENCY services are advising people to stay safe this New Year’s Eve.

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Neil Storey, director of emergency operations at the East of England Ambulance Service, said the service always saw a spike in the number of calls at New Year - there were 3,828 in 2011/12 - and anticipated many of them would be alcohol related.

“We aren’t party poopers but being called to people because they’ve had too much to drink is putting people with genuine medical emergencies at risk.

“Excessive drinking can make people extremely vulnerable and tempted to behave recklessly which can lead to serious injuries, but more often it means that our staff are sent to help people who are drunk.

“We are often called to people who are on their own, lying on the pavement in very vulnerable situations but a good night out shouldn’t mean ending up in A&E or in the back of an ambulance being revived by highly-skilled clinicians.”

He added 999 is really designed for people in potentially life-threatening conditions or who need intensive clinical intervention en route to hospital.

The service’s top tips include planning your journey home, looking after your friends, dressing warmly, eating before you start drinking to help soak up alcohol and alternating soft drinks with alcoholic ones to keep you hydrated.

Suffolk and Essex Police forces are also advising people to stay safe this New Year.

Superintendent Martin Ransome, who is overseeing the policing of the night-time economy over the festive period through to the New Year in Suffolk, said: “We will not only have a high visible presence with extra patrols around the towns in the county but we will also use powers available to us to deal with those behaving in an anti-social manner or committing an offence, this may be by using a section 27 notice - allowing us to disperse the person from the area - fixed penalty notices or arrest.

“It is not our intention to ruin anyone’s night out by using our powers, but to encourage party-goers to have fun sensibly.

“By taking a few simple precautions, you can reduce the risk of becoming a victim of crime.”

Additional advice from the police includes avoiding short-cuts through unlit or deserted areas, knowing your limits with alcohol, appointing a designated driver between you and your friends or make arrangements for your journey home and keeping your personal possessions close to you at all times.

Weather panel

Steve Western, a forecaster with Weatherquest, said today would be cloudy with outbreaks of rain during the day. The rain would then clear away with it becoming mostly dry with clear spells through the evening.

He said New Year’s Day should be mostly dry and bright with sunny spells in the morning.

“The 1st is a nice day. Dry and bright with some sunshine.”

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