Ambulance crews responded to double the daily average number of calls on both Friday and Saturday last week, with 31 incidents between midnight and midnight on both days.

During this period of exceptionally high demand off-duty staff were called back to work to help maintain resilience for the island.

Incidents included medical emergencies such as chest pains and breathing problems as well as a number of falls and traumatic injuries.

The St John marine ambulance, which is operated by emergency ambulance service clinicians and volunteer boat crew, was also deployed to Herm in the early hours of Saturday morning, for a patient requiring treatment and transfer to Guernsey.

Overall demand for the week (Monday 19th-Sunday 25th April) was also up, however on one day the call volume dropped around half the normal daily average.

Deputy Chief Ambulance Officer Dean De La Mare said: “The figures demonstrate the unpredictable and dynamic nature of our work. Some days will always be busier than others, but it is unusual to see this level of demand on two consecutive days. The Emergency Ambulance Service has robust systems in place to ensure we have crews available for the next medical emergency. These also ensure that patient safety is not compromised because there is always a next crew available.”

The Emergency Ambulance Service operates a voluntary call back system, where off-duty staff make themselves available to return to work to provide additional response at times of high demand. Senior Officers can also be deployed to frontline operations if required.

Mr De La Mare added: “We are very lucky to have a dedicated team who are prepared to come in when they are off shift to maintain resilience and ensure there is cover for the next emergency.  This system works very well and allows us to run an efficient and cost-effective service.”

“I would like to take this opportunity to remind islanders that if there is a medical emergency such as chest pain, shortness of breath, signs of a stroke, an unresponsive patient, severe head injury or severe allergic reaction they should dial 999. If you need an ambulance you will get one,” said Mr De La Mare.

In addition to responding to emergencies ambulance clinicians have also been on duty providing cover at the Community Vaccination Centre and a karting event on Sunday.

Posted: April 28, 2021