Guernsey’s emergency ambulance service experienced its busiest year ever in 2019 with five thousand six hundred and fifty-eight incidents.
The total for the year to the end of December 2019 is slightly up on the previous twelve months (2.5%), but represents a significant increase in demand over the past five years with a twenty-five per cent increase since 2014.
May was the busiest month for the service in 2019 with almost six hundred cases (599) and on one day in May the service responded to a total of twenty-nine incidents, which is almost double the daily average.
St John also saw some busy episodes in the autumn and over the Christmas and New Year period, with a peak of twenty-eight calls on a single day in September and twenty-five calls on one day in December. During periods of high demand off-duty staff have been called back into work to maintain resilience and senior officers have been deployed to back up crews on emergency calls.
Chief Ambulance Officer Mark Mapp said: “Although overall the increase year-on-year is only small, the figures show a continuing trend of growth. The service has experienced some periods of high demand with as many as twenty-nine cases in a single day, which demonstrates the dynamic and unpredictable nature of ambulance work.
“I am very grateful for the commitment and flexibility of the team, especially those clinicians who have made themselves available to return to work when they are off-duty to provide care and treatment for patients in their time of need.”
During 2019 staff from the emergency ambulance service were also deployed to Sark to provide cover for the island doctor and to Alderney to provide emergency cover for the Alderney Ambulance Service.