As Lancashire turns up the heat on the biggest party night of the year, revellers are being advised to stay safe as they celebrate the coming of 2015.
With temperatures barely reaching above freezing the Met Office has issued an amber warning for icy conditions and freezing temperatures.
Emergency services are bracing themselves for one of their busiest nights of the year and are expecting an influx of calls.
The North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) is asking members of the public to take a sensible approach to celebrating the start of 2015 and remember that 999 is for serious and life-threatening emergencies.
A spokesman said: “Last New Year’s Eve was extremely busy for NWAS. Between 4pm on December 31 and 11pm on January 1, 2,916 calls were made to the Service. With recent activity levels at the highest ever experienced by ambulance services, it is anticipated this year’s call volume will increase significantly.”
NWAS Director of Emergency Services, Derek Cartwright, says: “We always see an increase in emergency calls at this time of year but this year has been exceptional. We are urging the people of the North West to take a sensible and moderate approach to celebrating the New Year and reduce the risk of becoming another ‘statistic’.”
Motorists are advised to leave their car keys at home if they are planning on seeing in the new year with a tipple and revellers advised to pre-book a taxi to ensure a safe journey home.
A spokesman for Lancashire Constabulary said: ”We’d like everyone to have a happy and safe New Year but there are a few basic tips people can follow if they are planning a night out.
“Do not leave your drinks unattended or accept drinks from strangers; stay with your friends; keep belongings safe; plan your journey home in advance by arranging to book a taxi home or using public transport and never use an unregistered taxi.”
Dr Raj Patel, Medical Director, Lancashire in NHS England, said: “If you watch how much you drink and ado not go overboard, you can have a great night and also save yourself a trip to hospital, not to mention free up services for those who really need them.”