AMBULANCE staff are urging people to stay safe on Bonfire Night.

In the week beginning October 25, 18,000 emergency calls were made to the North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust (NWAS), including 6,975 considered serious and life-threatening.

Compared with the previous week, this was a 10 per cent increase in serious calls and a five per cent increase in all calls.

In the past year NWAS reported only three other instances with this sort of activity – Hallowe’en week in 2009, the Cumbrian floods in November 2009 and Christmas/New Year 2009/2010.

Derek Cartwright, who is the director of emergency services at NWAS, said: “The increase in category A calls was mainly on Friday, Saturday and Sunday with peaks between 8pm and 3am on each day.

“It is thought the main factors in these increases are related to the drinking, parties and other social activities associated with Hallowe’en and Bonfire Night.

“The Hallowe’en week which leads to Bonfire Night is quickly becoming as busy as the traditional festive period, which has previously been the busiest time of the year for the ambulance service.

“Although the increase in calls has occurred in all call categories, this time of year is common with firework and bonfire-related accidents which we have already seen victims of.

“These types of injuries are often the result of careless behaviour, but can have a very serious impact on the lives of those involved.”

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