The emergency services in the southeast are on high alert amid a heat wave

AN AMBULANCE service has been placed on high alert as temperatures continue to rise across Sussex.

The South East Coast Ambulance Service (Secamb) handled more than 18,500 999 calls last week and expects demand to rise as mercury continues to rise.

The service has moved to Stage 4 of its resource escalation action plan, the highest alert level as temperatures could hit 40C in parts of south-east England towards the end of this week.

Secamb is urging the public to take sensible measures to protect themselves and others as the heatwave continues, including using alternatives to calling 999 for urgent advice that is not an emergency and not calling 999 back unless it is because, a patient’s condition worsens or they need no more help.

The emergency services said hotter weather typically leads to an increase in calls related to dehydration and heatstroke, and can also seriously affect people with long-term health conditions like heart disease and high blood pressure.

Emma Williams, Executive Director of Operations at Secamb, said: “We’ve had a very busy week and we expect demand to remain high, particularly with the continued hot weather forecast.

“I would like to ask the public to really think twice if they are facing an emergency and if not, avoid calling 999. Please also speak to your GP or a pharmacist and remember you can also get help and advice from the NHS 111 online.

“We would also urge people to do everything in their power to keep cool and be vigilant for vulnerable people, including the elderly and the very young, who may be seriously affected by the heat. People should stay hydrated, cover up, use sunscreen and take advantage of the shade.

“I would like to thank all of our staff and volunteers who are working hard during this busy time in difficult conditions to respond as quickly as possible to anyone who needs our help.”

Secamb urged people to stay in the shade at the hottest time of day, between 11am and 3pm, use sunscreen, drink plenty of fluids and keep homes cool by only opening windows when the temperature inside rises and at night for ventilation.

Temperatures in Brighton are set to soar to 31C on Monday, with a Met Office weather advisory warning of extreme heat towards the end of this week and early next. The emergency services in the southeast are on high alert amid a heat wave

Fry Electronics Team

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