Revellers are being urged to party responsibly this Mad Friday.
With Christmas just around the corner and today the last working Friday before the big day, many of us will be hitting the town.
But the day typically sees an increase in 999 calls, so emergency services are calling for party-goers to stay safe while enjoying the festivities.
North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) is asking people to only call them for life-threatening incidents.
Ambulances should not be treated like a taxi service
Citing the example of one man who called the service last Mad Friday to request an ambulance to be put on standby as he was going out drinking, NWAS director of operations Derek Cartwright is reminding people that ambulances are not mobile first aid-providers and should not be treated as taxis.
He said: “Our ambulance crews are highly trained and skilled clinicians who provide life-saving and emergency medical care and should be treated as such.
"The Trust needs people to take some responsibility for their own safety during this busy period.
"We have many cases of mild hypothermia when people are out drinking – alcohol reduces your body temperature, so wear a coat and wear sensible shoes when going out and make arrangements to get home safely.
“In genuine life-threatening emergencies, time matters.
"So if people stop and think about drinking this Christmas and take a sensible approach, they can play their part in helping to ensure ambulance crews are free to attend to vulnerable and very poorly people.”
NWAS saw a 12.5% rise in overall calls and a 20% rise in life-threatening ‘red’ calls on Mad Friday last year compared to the previous year.
Mr Cartwright said it is also important to remember hangovers and headaches following a night out can be treated at home by resting and drinking fluids, or using medicine dispensed by local pharmacists.
Safety advice from Cheshire police includes leaving drinks with people you trust when nipping to the toilet or hitting the dancefloor, avoiding taking risky shortcuts through poorly-lit areas or walking alone and do not accept drinks from strangers.