THERE was a significant rise in the number of calls an emergency service received on New Year's Eve.

It was a busy start to 2024 for West Midlands Ambulance Service after seeing a 13 per cent increase in calls.

Between 6pm on Sunday, December 31 and 6am on Monday, January 1, Stafford and Brierly Hill call assessors took 2,776 calls - over 300 more than the previous year.

The trust as a whole received a total of 10,481 calls, up from 9,055, an almost 16 per cent increase on the previous year.

West Midlands Ambulance Service chief executive Anthony Marsh said: "A massive thank you to the hundreds of staff and volunteers who worked over this period, many giving up time with their family and friends to work additional shifts.

"It's not just those on the road, but also the team in our control rooms and also the staff who support these colleagues in areas such as vehicle preparation, mechanics, stores, distribution and IT; it is a real team effort.

"I would also like to thank the public for heeding the requests to use services such as 111 online and speaking to a pharmacist or their GP. 

"Doing so allows us to get to the most seriously ill and injured as quickly as possible."