Montreal

Montreal paramedics prepare for busy New Year's Eve

Urgences-Santé has extra ambulances and paramedics at the ready for tonight's New Year's Eve festivities.

Slippery conditions come on one of the biggest party nights of the year

New Year's Eve is one of the busiest nights of the year for Montreal's paramedics. (Matt D'Amours/CBC Montreal)

Urgences-Santé support staff were busy cleaning and resupplying ambulances ahead of New Year's Eve on Monday.

It's one of the busiest nights of the year for the paramedics that serve the Montreal area.

On a typical night, they get between 100 to 130 calls. Tonight, they expect to nearly triple that number.

About a third of those calls will happen over the course of a few hours tonight, said Urgences-Santé spokesperson Eddy Afram.

"It means we have more trucks on the road, more staff responding," said Afram.

Seventy-five ambulances will be in service tonight, up from 40 to 50 on a regular night. The number of paramedics on duty increases to 150, up from about 95.

Urgences-Santé will have 75 ambulances in service tonight, up from 40 to 50 on regular nights. (Radio-Canada)

He said they normally get a spike in calls on party nights and when there is freezing rain.

Tonight, they get both.

Environment Canada has issued a freezing rain warning for the Montreal region, with mixed precipitation expected overnight.

On New Year's Eve, Urgences-Santé usually receives calls related to intoxication and fights, in addition to their more regular calls related to illness.

Afram advises Montrealers to not drink to excess. And if you do take in a bit too much holiday cheer, call a cab or use Nez Rouge instead of getting behind the wheel.

"We don't want to see you in the ambulance," he said.

He also suggests clearing snow and salting walkways, both to prevent falls and to make things easier for paramedics if they do have to enter your home.

With the paramedics expected to work long hours tonight, Urgences-Santé is providing a packed lunch, as they may not have time to get their own meals.

"It's a little gesture to recognize the paramedics," Afram said.

With files from Matt D'Amours

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