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Ambulance service urge people to think before calling 999

Public Health England are urging people to keep hydrated in the heat Credit: ITV News Anglia

The East of England Ambulance Service is urging the public not to call 999 unless it is absolutely necessary during the current hot weather.

The service has been receiving up to 200 calls an hour over the last few days.

They mostly involve elderly people or those with underlying health issues suffering with heatstroke or dehydration.

They are under huge pressure to respond to the big rise and demand.

However, whilst we are able to respond, we urge the public to please think before they dial 999 and use our services wisely and look at other alternatives that they could use before dialling 999.

– Karl Edwards, Deputy Director for Service Delivery

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Your best tips for keeping cool in the heatwave

Heacham beach in Norfolk. Credit: Danielle Waters

For the majority of people it is about common sense - staying cool, drinking plenty of water to maintain hydration, and avoiding sunburn. However, some groups can be particularly vulnerable and at much greater risk of harm, especially those with underlying heart and lung conditions, older people, babies and young children.

Looking out for people in these groups is important while most of England swelters under high temperatures.

The top ways for staying safe when the heat arrives are to:

  • close curtains on rooms that face the sun to keep indoor spaces cooler and remember it may be cooler outdoors than indoors
  • drink plenty of water as sugary, alcoholic and caffeinated drinks can make you more dehydrated
  • never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children or animals
  • try to keep out of the sun between 11am to 3pm
  • take care and follow local safety advice, if you are going into the water to cool down
  • walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a hat, if you have to go out in the heat
  • avoid physical exertion in the hottest parts of the day
  • wear light, loose fitting cotton clothes
  • make sure you take water with you, if you are travelling

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Temperatures hit 31 degrees across the region

With the heatwave continuing well into the week Public Health England has issued a warning.

People are being urged to keep an eye on relatives and neighbours who may be struggling with the sweltering conditions.

More than 7,000 calls were made to the East of England Ambulance service over the weekend - that is over a thousand more than normal.

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