PARAMEDICS were called to more than 1,000 emergency cases across Victoria in the space of nine hours on New Year’s Eve as the state celebrated the start of 2019.
Ambulances were dispatched to 1089 cases from 6pm to 3am, with the busiest period from midnight to 1am with 161 call outs.
New Year’s Eve health commander Ian Hunt said paramedics responded to a range of cases such as slips, trips and falls – including one at the Falls Festival in Lorne – intoxicated and drug-affected revellers, and burns.
“Our workload built up gradually with the largest spike in calls coming from 12am to 2am when we responded to 324 emergency cases.
“With more than 1,000 people needing our assistance, it was pleasing that very few cases were of a serious nature.
“We had extra paramedics rostered on across Melbourne and the Mornington Peninsula, at the early Footscray Park fireworks, and at The Falls and Beyond the Valley music festivals.
“This planning allowed us to meet the extra demands of New Year’s Eve celebrations while maintaining our capacity to respond to our usual workload in the community.”
At Lorne, a man in his 20s was airlifted to the Royal Melbourne Hospital in a critical condition after he fell and hit his head at Falls Festival just before 10pm.
At Altona Meadows, a man in his 60s was taken to The Alfred hospital in a stable condition with facial injuries after he was hit by fireworks just after midnight.
A man in his 20s was treated by paramedics for burns to his hand after falling into a campfire near Kaarimba about 12.30am. He was taken by ambulance to Goulburn Valley Health in a stable condition.
Earlier in the evening, paramedics were called to a near-drowning at Rye. A man in his 70s was found by passers-by and pulled from the water about 9.45pm.
He was treated by paramedics and taken to Frankston Hospital in a serious but stable condition.