AMBULANCE bosses have warned of a flood of unnecessary and alcohol related emergency calls over Christmas and the New Year.

They want people to drink responsibly and only dial 999 in a real crisis because of the pressure on the paramedic service over the festive season.

North-West Ambulance Service acting director of operations Derek Cartwright said: “The holiday period and New Year’s Eve in particular is undoubtedly our busiest time of year and we expect that this year will be no exception.

“We are confident that the public will act sensibly and call us for genuine emergencies only, our message is simple — as we approach our busiest time of year, help us to help you and remember lives could be put at risk if ambulances are used to deal with non-emergencies.

“If you are experiencing, for example, chest pain, breathing difficulties, stroke symptoms or severe bleeding please do not hesitate to dial 999 immediately.

“As always, the service will be on hand over the festive period to help those who need urgent medical care and we urge the public to pay special attention to those around them and look after elderly or frail relatives, neighbours and friends.”