People slipping over in the icy conditions and ‘inappropriate’ calls are causing the emergency services a headache.
South Central Ambulance’s resources were stretched over the weekend as it received 4,166 emergency calls including 766 related to people falling over.
This compared to 3,472 calls the previous weekend with only 582 to do with falls meaning nearly a 32% increase in people slipping over.
Ambulance spokesman James Keating-Wilkes said: “Demand due to the winter pressures has been very significant. We have seen a dramatic increase in the number of people falling over.
“We ask people to take care on icy pavements, care for your community and check on your neighbours.”
Another pressure for the ambulance service has been receiving numerous inappropriate non-emergency calls..
Mr Keating-Wilkes said: “We got one guy who had broken down on the M40 who could not get through to the AA so he rang 999 to get us to help him.
“At this time of year we get a high level of inappropriate calls. If we are out responding to those calls rescuers are not available for responding to genuine life threatening emergencies.”
However, he was pleased that drivers appear to have been heeding the warning of poor conditions and either not going out or taking extreme care, with only 111 calls related to road traffic collisions (an increase by three on the previous weekend).
Mr Keating-Wilkes also said the service owed a big thank you to all its staff, volunteers and to the Community First Responder teams which have even helped control room employees to work.
He added: “They have all gone that extra mile. We are very grateful for them.”