Shropshire Star

'Don't take your anger out on our staff, or anyone else': Ambulance service plea before big Euro football kick off

Ambulance chiefs in the West Midlands say they are prepared for the European Championships, even if England go all the way and win the tournament.

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That includes preparing for a 'spike in demand' including to domestic violence incidents after the referee blows the final whistle. Ambulance chiefs are asking patients to consider other services.

The Euros kick off tonight (Friday) at 8pm when hosts Germany take on Scotland with England’s first match against Serbia on Sunday.

Both teams will play two further group matches before the knock-out phase begins.

West Midlands Ambulance Service says planning for the tournament has been on-going for some time using experience gained during the World Cup and the previous Euros, where England made the final.

WMAS Director of Performance and Improvement, Nathan Hudson, said: “We hope that everyone enjoys the championship no matter which team, you support. Many of our staff will obviously be backing England and the days when they play will be our busiest.

“We know that demand during the actual match will be relatively light, but we usually see a significant spike in demand as soon as the game is over, whatever the result.

“That’s why we have a significant number of additional staff coming on shift on the day of these matches and throughout the tournament so that we can deal with the usual demands we experience and the extra generated by people out enjoying the games, and hopefully celebrating a win for their team.

“While we will see more ambulances on the streets of the West Midlands, it is also important that people use the NHS wisely and make use of the likes of 111, pharmacies and their GP and not just rely on 999 and A&E.

“Unfortunately, we do see a rise in cases of domestic abuse during big championships such as this. There is increasing evidence pointing to a link between high-profile football matches and cases of domestic violence and abuse, so I would like to remind people that there is help available to anyone who feels they are at risk. You can find out more online

“We know emotions can run high at times when the result might not go the way you hope, but it is important people remember that it isn’t acceptable to take your anger out on our staff. We will always take a zero-tolerance approach to abuse of our staff and will work together with the police to secure prosecutions wherever possible.

“I just want to reassure people that we are prepared and will do everything we can to get help to people who need it as quickly as possible whether that is an ambulance coming out to you or directing you to an alternative source of help.”

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