AMBULANCE chiefs have raised concerns after receiving a record number of emergency calls in a single day.
The number of 999 calls to West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) topped out at 5,001 on Monday (March 5) – the first time they had ever reached the 5,000 mark.
With New Years Day traditionally the busiest day of the year, Sunday (March 4) was the third busiest day ever for WMAS, with 4,451 emergency calls received.
Trust chief executive Anthony Marsh spoke of the pressure the so-called Beast from the East had put on the service.
“These are unprecedented call numbers; astonishingly, demand was almost 20 per cent higher than we would have expected.
“Due to the snow, we had already put considerably more resources on duty than we would normally have done at this time, yet this was still not enough to deal with all of the cases in a timely manner. For this I am sorry.
“I would like to thank the staff who worked tirelessly, regularly going above and beyond what could reasonably have been expected to ensure patients got the care they needed.
“Whether it is staff in our control rooms, on the frontline, maintaining and servicing the vehicles, ensuring consumables got through to hubs despite the weather; each member of my staff has done everything possible to ensure patient care was maintained at the highest level.
“I would also like to thank the many volunteers such as our community first responders, 4×4 organisations and members of the public who have helped us over recent days.
“The sense of community has been extraordinary; seeing such generosity shows just how ‘Great’, Britain really is.”