Heatwave Causes Surge In 999 Emergency Calls Across The Country

It’s been announced that we are officially in Britain’s longest heatwave for the past 20 years, and whilst the majority of people will be enjoying the sunshine, unfortunately, with this extra heat brings a surge of 999 emergency calls.

Over the past couple of days, emergency services have seen a dramatic uplift in calls all over the country with the most common complaints being from people experiencing sunstroke, dehydration, heat exhaustion, fainting, becoming unconscious and experiencing breathing difficulties.


surge in 999 emergency calls


  • London Ambulance Service call takers saw an increase of 40 percent in 999 calls this week.
  • East Midlands Ambulance Service responded to 80 ‘Red 1’ (life-threatening) calls which are twice as many on an average day.
  • East of England Ambulance Service received more than 7,000 calls due to the heatwave.


All ambulance services have been urging people across the country to take responsibility for their own health and wellbeing and those of others. The heat has been particularly affecting the elderly, young children and those with serious conditions especially relating to the heart or with breathing problems.

WMAS (West Midlands Ambulance Service) Assistant Chief Ambulance Officer, Michelle Brotherton urges the public to take extra care of those who have been particularly affected, “We would, therefore, urge the public to look out for their loved ones, but also elderly neighbours who might be finding the current weather tough.”

The heat wave has led to increased pressure on Ambulance Services to meet call out targets because of the high level of ambulance call outs. They are asking that anyone with non-life-threatening conditions call  111 for early guidance or make their own way to the hospital.  As one of the most high-risk groups, the elderly are advised to keep hydrated and take precautions to reduce the likelihood of a fall, one of the most common reasons for a hospital admittance.

Keeping yourself safe in the sun:

  • Stay out of the sun and in the shade between 11am-3pm.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and sipping on other hydrating drinks such as coconut water.
  • Wear a hat and apply sunscreen to prevent burning.
  • Drink alcohol in moderation.


If you are uncertain whether you need an ambulance then please dial 111 for quick and reliable medical help and advice.



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