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NSW ambulances receive record-breaking calls on New Year’s Eve

NSW Ambulances received record-breaking calls on New Year's Eve. Photo: Creative Commons.

By DANIEL LO SURDO

NSW Ambulance Inspector Kay Armstrong has revealed that there were a record-breaking number of calls made for ambulances on New Year’s Eve after a mix of mischief-related and COVID-19 calls marked the busiest night in 126 years of the service.

While speaking to Today on New Year’s Day, Inspector Armstrong said that it was a challenging New Year’s Eve for frontline workers, who are subject to increasing demand as COVID-19 hospitalisations surpassed 1000 in NSW today.

“It was just a big mixture of everything … before midnight we had our pressures of everyone building into the midnight festivities, and then after midnight we always get our usual alcohol-related cases, but a lot of those cases were COVID unfortunately as well,” Inspector Armstrong said.

NSW Health recorded 21,151 COVID-19 cases on New Year’s Eve, swaying many Sydneysiders into remaining at home for the festivities rather than risk their exposure to the virus. Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant urged those with any symptoms of COVID-19 to stay at home and to connect with family and friends via social media.

The NSW Ambulance service continues to face challenges into the new year, as summer weather and school holidays draws people into greater clusters and has created tougher conditions for frontline workers to operate.

“The biggest challenges at the moment are the relentless calls and the demands on our crews,” Inspector Armstrong said.

“They are not having any breaks. They are wearing their PPE into every job which on a day like this today is very hot. It is very dehydrating. They are changing their outfits up to 10 times a day.”

NSW today recorded 18,278 new cases, with 83 in intensive care.

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