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Page last updated at 12:51 GMT, Friday, 17 December 2010
Heavy drinking hinders Oxfordshire Paramedics

Out with paramedics in Didcot

Emergency services in Oxfordshire are asking people to drink responsibly to take the strain off ambulance crews.

They are finding it difficult to manage the mix between alcohol related calls and those of a more series nature.

Jonathan Fox from the The Association of Professional Ambulance Personnel said Christmas was an especially busy.

"Issues to do with alcohol related calls are making it more difficult to get to life threatening emergencies," he said.

Their job is also made harder by the risk of violence.

"We, as professionals, have to temper our underlying motivation to rescue and save people with a little bit of self preservation.

"Sometimes these calls are very unpredictable in their nature and can cause us physical problems as well as medical and clinical problems," said Mr Fox.

More arrests

There were 1200 physical assaults on ambulance crews last year which Mr Fox described as "regular and consistent".

This month the Ambulance service have already had their busiest week since April and alcohol related calls are already up on December 2009.

Police in Oxford have made more arrests than usual in the second weekend of December and 32% were alcohol related.

Their message to people over the Christmas period is to drink in moderation.

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