AS the countdown to midnight gets underway across the Gold Coast, paramedics are preparing for their first shifts in police watch-houses as part of the Queensland Government’s ‘Safe Night Out’ strategy.
The Queensland Ambulance Service is urging people to see in the New Year safely by remembering a few simple tips.
Acting Commissioner David Eeles reminded people to plan ahead to help make their celebrations as trouble-free as possible.
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“Many people enjoy a drink with their family and friends to see in the new year, but we ask them to drink responsibly,” he said.
“If you are planning to drink, remember to alternate your alcoholic drinks with water – your body will thank you for it the next day.
“It’s important to have a back-up plan if you are planning to drink. Never drink and drive: ensure you have a designated driver, catch a taxi or public transport, or make arrangements to stay at a friend’s place.”
New Year’s Eve is without a doubt the biggest night of the year for emergency services as alcohol increases the risk of injury.
Paramedics will work alongside nurses in police watch-houses across the state – including at Southport and Surfers Paradise – to monitor and treat detainees in a trial designed to blunt the dangers of alcohol, drugs and street violence.
“If you are heading out for New Year’s Eve, take it easy on the alcohol, stay in control and look after your friends – if a situation arises where they or you feel uncomfortable or vulnerable, walk away and get on with enjoying the night in safety somewhere else,” Mr Eeles said.
“Dedicated paramedics and registered nurses will begin staffing watch-houses tonight and on Friday and Saturday nights from January 2.
“This initiative will enhance the health and safety of watch-house detainees who may be suffering from medical conditions or be intoxicated by drugs and alcohol.
“Having trained health care professionals such as paramedics on hand will ensure that detainees can be properly assessed, treated and monitored, and they will have access to the full range of ambulance and health resources provided by the local health care network.”
Mr Eeles also reminded people to show respect and courtesy to paramedics and other health workers who would be working to keep people safe on New Year’s Eve.
“We want everyone to have a great time this New Year’s Eve, so please celebrate responsibly, show respect to others and keep yourselves safe to enjoy a terrific 2015,” he said.