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Trust offers advice ahead of busy Pride weekend

5 August 2016

SECAmb wrapped vehicleSouth East Coast Ambulance Service is preparing for a busy weekend ahead of this year’s Pride event in Brighton.

It is urging everyone to enjoy the event but to be sensible to avoid unnecessary calls to the ambulance service and trips to A&E.

The Trust will have more than 100 staff working across its Brighton operational area on Saturday (6 August) with additional support from volunteer community first responders.

Last year the Trust handled more than 600 calls across the city on the Saturday and Sunday of the event – more than it handled in the region in a 48-hour period from New Year’s Eve to January 1 this year.

Today, (Friday 5 August), SECAmb is hosting the first UK National Ambulance LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender) Network conference at the Amex Stadium, Brighton.

Wrapped vehicleThe event saw the unveiling of an ambulance ‘wrapped’ in Pride colours. The vehicle will join Saturday’s parade with up to 150 people including SECAmb members of staff, their family, friends and colleagues from other ambulance services, expected to participate.

Paramedic and Brighton and Hove Operational Unit Manager Tim Fellows said: “Pride is a friendly and fun event and we’re delighted to once again have a very strong, and with the wrapped ambulance, even more colourful presence in the parade.

“From an operational point of view, however, the sheer number of people in the city means that inevitably, it will be a busy couple of days for us. We’ve been working closely with our emergency service colleagues and St John Ambulance, who provide the main medical cover for the event and treat many more patients in addition to those we see.”

“While we’re planning for an increase in calls we’d like to remind people for the need to plan their day ahead and ensure they drink plenty of water, use sun cream and look out for each other to avoid the need to call us.”

SECAmb is reminding the public that 999 should only be used in an emergency. Anyone faced with a medical emergency shouldn’t hesitate to call but it is urging anyone else who needs help to consider all the other options available to them. This might be calling NHS111 for help, where staff can provide support and advice over the phone and refer patients to out-of-hours services where appropriate.

When to call 999:

 If you think a patient is suffering from one of the following you must dial 999 for an ambulance:
• Anyone who isn’t breathing or is in cardiac arrest
• Chest pain for more than 15 minutes (which may be indicative of a heart attack)
• sudden unexplained shortness of breath
• heavy bleeding
• unconsciousness (even if the patient has regained consciousness)
• traumatic back/spinal/neck pain (for example injuries from falls or other accidents, causing severe pain or possible fractures)

 You should also call for an ambulance if: 
• you think the patient's illness or injury is life-threatening
• moving the patient/s without skilled people could cause further injury

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