Campaign urges correct use of 999

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Derbyshire ambulances are being adorned with adverts promoting the right use of the emergency number 999.

East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) has introduced the adverts as part of a campaign to encourage people not to dial 999 unnecessarily.

During the 2012/13 performing year, EMAS sent an ambulance response to over 616,000 emergency calls, but only 38 per cent (234,508 calls) were for immediately life-threatening incidents.

Peter Bainbridge, EMAS paramedic and clinical lead for Derbyshire, said: “It’s important that people know when to call 999, and when another NHS service is more appropriate. The adverts we are putting onto our ambulances act as a visual reminder that we are an emergency service. That means our priority is always to respond to people who are reported to be in an immediately life-threatening condition such as cardiac arrest.”

As well as the ambulance adverts, the campaign, which runs throughout winter, will also see the use of posters in community buildings, radio adverts and stories featuring people who have had their life saved thanks to a fast response.