New Year Emergency

With New year's eve night approaching the LAS has put out it's usual call for people to be sensible.

Our head of Emergency Preparedness says this,

“Alcohol-related calls put extra pressure on the Service, so I’d ask people to be sensible. Every minute that we spend looking after somebody who is simply drunk, is a minute that could have been spent helping a patient who is seriously ill or injured. We want people to enjoy themselves, but they should think carefully before dialling 999. It should only be used for emergencies.”

Because. for us – New year's eve is an emergency.

Note that he does say what I'd like us to do – “If you call an ambulance for someone who is drunk, or has had their drink 'spiked' (normally their tenth or eleventh pint), don't expect an ambulance, instead expect the street sweepers to come around and wake you up in the morning”.

But no, instead we will continue to mollycoddle people for whom 'I drank so much last night I can't remember anything' is a good night out.

The Saint – commenter and all round good egg has come up with the following campaign, in order to educate the public as to someone being 'pissed' as opposed to 'collapse – unknown cause' or 'life status questionable'


With the stunning success of the Department of Health's FAST campaign, to identify whether a patient has suffered a CVA (Stroke), it has been decided to extend this further for the festive season. The table below may be used by the public to identify whether their mates have suffered a medical or traumatic collapse, or are simply drunk. This will be known as the PISSED scale, and will differ slightly for young males and young females.




Punchy: Picks fights with inanimate objects, like walls.

Pants: Usually found around her ankles, unless ankles are behind ears.


Irritating: Is really fucking annoying, but thinks he is up for a British Comedy Award.

Identity: Is usually called Sharon, Tracy, Chantelle or Chardonnay.


Speech: Keeps saying “You're my best mate – I love you” to total strangers.

Spiked: Insists her drink has been spiked. Never states which one of 17 she means.


Staggers: Staggers off pavement into heavy traffic.

Sex: Seeks out men for immediate casual sex, despite her targets not being remotely interested.


Enuresis: Urinates over himself and anyone/anything else within 5 feet.

Erection: Is not able to engender this reaction in said casual sex partner.


Denial: Despite the above, states he hasn't touched a drop of alcohol.

Dead: What she plays when she realises no-one is interested in her.

If the patient scores 1/6 or more then he or she is seriously pissed and you MUST act FAST. call a cab IMMEDIATELY.


As an aside – can I show you this press release made on the 21st of December.

Londoners are being urged to only call 999 with life-threatening emergencies this evening.

The London Ambulance Service is continuing to receive a large volume of calls, and combined with the road and traffic conditions across the capital it means that the emergency system is coming under extreme pressure.
To enable us to provide the fastest response we can to patients with serious or immediately life-threatening illnesses and injuries, we are not currently sending ambulances to callers with minor injuries or illnesses.

Here's an idea. Make this a constant message. That you shouldn't pick up a phone, dial 999 and when asked which emergency service you require ask for an ambulance because you have vomited once, or you have a cough, or a runny nose, or for the last three days have had a painful knee (all calls I've been to in the past few days).


Before I turn out the lights on my 2009, I'd like to wish every ambulance crew working NYE and to all the suckers volunteers working central London that night the very best and a safe shift.
To everyone else, both ambulance crews and 'normal people', I wish a happy and safe new year.
Talk to you in 2010.

16 thoughts on “New Year Emergency”

  1. Happy New Year indeed! Hope it brings fewer (or perhaps revised, measurable, realistic) targets and a higher genuinely-needy to time-wasting ratio.When I started at university our Dean made a very severe speech during Freshers' Week which has stuck with me ever since. He said that being drunk doesn't excuse anything: it compounds it.

  2. And a safe and happy new year to you, too.I enjoy reading your blog – an insight into a totally different world of my office job – though one that comes with it's own share of challenges.

  3. Happy New Year to everyone! As well as to all the other Emergency Service staff.I'm working NYE 11pm-7am…Bring on the drunk calls!!

  4. This will be my 3rd year in a row working nightshift on NYE. Last year was surreal though- on a 7-7 shift i had 2 calls before midnight a flurry of activity until 3am then we had THREE vehicles and THREE RRVs on station until 6am.Good luck to everyone working though, especially if the call volume of the past week is anything to go by….

  5. The “pissed” scale is so true – I speak of as veteran of way too many years in A+E over the festive [intoxicated] period. I hope all of the dedicated emergency services and A+E staff keep it together for the sake of their jobs over this period and not get a complaint against them for ignoring a doubly incontinent roaring drunk who is trying to assault them – like I did a couple of years ago when I stopped the p*** and s*** covered individual from beating up one one of my staff!!

  6. A Happy New Year Tom,and I hope you and your colleagues (all 999 workers)

    will be safe.

    Thank you for you ever thought provoking blogs.

    (can I print out the *chart* for work?)

    Best wishes sarah in clacton


  7. Hope you had a decent Christmas and a good New Year Tom.I worked the Christmas weekend and it was just silly I've never been so exhausted after a run of shifts yet.

    I've managed to get New Year's eve and day off so I can celebrate my first in a couple of years. Heres hoping all the crews stay safe this year!


  8. As soon as I read the press release headline I thought “Just for tonight, but tomorrow you may proceed as normal”. Here's hoping you, and anyone else in the Emergency Services woking NYE have as peaceful a night as possible,

  9. My shift pattern would have me on tonight had I not jacked it in. My ex crew-mate is on a 7 – 7 night with his new oppo (a girly!).Why do I feel little bit guilty and a little bit whistful?

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