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Heatwave response – update (Wednesday 20 July, 9am)

Over the last two days, the London Ambulance Service has taken a total of 13,400 calls to 999, with 6,600 on Monday (18 July) and 6,800 on Tuesday (19 July). This equates to one every 13 seconds. 

By comparison – and prior to the pandemic – we would take 5,500 calls on a very busy day.

Early data shows that on Tuesday, we saw a ten-fold increase in incidents related to heat exposure compared to the previous week, and an 8% increase in people fainting.

Whilst temperatures have now dropped from the record breaking highs, the Service is reminding Londoners that the weather is still very hot and we ask people to continue to take precautions, such as staying out of the sun between 11am and 3pm, wearing sunscreen and drinking plenty of water. We also ask that people check in on older and vulnerable people, and to only call 999 in the event of a life-threatening emergency. If it is urgent and not an emergency, please use 111 online, your GP or a local pharmacy. 

Brian Jordan, Director of 999 Operations said: “We have been consistently busy over the last two days with our 999 teams regularly taking over 400 calls an hour – compared to 300 on a ‘busy’ day. However, we really need the public to continue to support us over the coming days – whilst it won’t be as hot, it is still predicted to be very warm with temperatures of around 26C for several days. People will also be feeling the impact of two days of record-breaking heat during the day and at night.

“I would like to thank the public for their help and support over the last few days and to publicly recognise the hard work and commitment of our staff and volunteers.”

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