A COMBINATION of bad weather and good planning meant this weekend was not as busy as it could have been for ambulance crews across the West Midlands.

Although West Midlands Ambulance Service had predicted this weekend could have been the busiest it had ever seen, the record remained unbroken.

But the service still had a very busy three days, being called out to 145 incidents a day more than it was in the same weekend last year.

The service received 7,889 calls from Friday to Sunday, up from 7,450 from last year.

Acting emergency services director Nathan Hudson said Saturday night proved particularly busy, putting the amount of calls due to it being pay day weekend for many.

“Being able to perform at the high levels we did despite the continued high levels of demand is down to good planning and the exceptional hard work of our staff in often very difficult circumstances,” he said.

“I would also like to thank the public for their assistance.

“It is absolutely vital that the public use the ambulance service sensibly so that we can get to the people that really need our help quickly and save lives.”

He added in non-emergency situations patients can speak to their GP or pharmacist for advice, visit a minor injury unit or call 111.

“Although we have got through this weekend there is no sign the level of demand shows any sign of reducing and it is still considerably above what we would expect to see at this time of year,” he said.

“As a result, we will be ensuring that we do everything we can to prepare for every eventuality and we would ask the public to do likewise.”

The weekend before last was the third busiest in the service's history. The two busiest were both when the region was under a blanket of snow.

In an emergency always call 999.