Look after your mates, revellers urged 

Ambulance Victoria has urged revellers to look after their mates during New Year's eve festivities tonight. 

The service has increased the number of paramedics on duty, with extra crews working throughout the Barwon and south-west region.

Regional manager Mick Cameron said the additional ambulances would help with the influx of holiday makers into the area.

“We have done everything possible to prepare for a busy night but we’re also calling on revellers to do their part," Mr Cameron said.

“We want people to go and have a good time but you need to look after yourself and your mates. Stay away from drugs and if you are drinking alcohol, have some water between drinks.

 “If you are with someone who you suspect might be overdosing on drugs then call Triple Zero immediately. We’re not here to judge the situation but if help isn’t sought as quickly as possible, then a night of partying with friends could turn to tragedy.”

 Mr Cameron also put revellers on notice that abuse and violence towards paramedics as a result of intoxication would not be tolerated. 

 “If you drink too much or you take drugs, that’s your choice, but clearly understand that you will be held responsible for your actions.  Hindering, obstructing and assaulting paramedics providing care attracts up to six months' jail, it’s not the way anyone wants to ring in 2013,” Mr Cameron said.

 Paramedics have also warned against using fireworks for backyard celebrations.

 “Tragically, we know that fireworks can kill or seriously injure if handled incorrectly – leave it to the professionals,” Mr Cameron said.

 “I would also promote prevention ahead of cure. If there’s the potential to be broken glass on the ground, make sure you’re wearing shoes. Too often we see people who have shards of glass embedded in the soles of their feet at this time of year.

 “New Year’s eve is the busiest night on our calendar and tonight more than ever, paramedics urge people to use common sense if calling for an ambulance.

 “We’re an emergency service and will be there for you in a medical crisis. We’re not a taxi and going to hospital by ambulance won't get you seen any faster in an emergency.

 “If you have a genuine need for an ambulance then of course phone Triple Zero and we will take care of you,” Mr Cameron said.

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