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Paramedics inundated as Victorians start 2019 with too much bang

Kate + Craig
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Paramedics were called to more than 1000 emergency cases across Victoria in a hectic nine-hour period that escalated in the first hour of 2019.

Ambulance Victoria has told 3AW Breakfast this year’s new year celebrations were “much busier than last year”.

The busiest period was from midnight to 1am, when there was 161 calls for help.

“What was obvious was after the fireworks finished at midnight, our workload increased significantly,” Ian Hunt, Manager of Emergency Management, told Kate Stevenson and Craig Willis.

The surge — there was a total 1089 cases from 6pm to 3am — was driven by drugs and grog.

Among the cases of note:

  • LORNE, 10PM: A man in his 20s was flown to the Royal Melbourne Hospital in a critical condition after he fell and hit his head at Falls Festival.
  • ALTONA MEADOWS, MIDNIGHT: A man aged 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.
  • KAARIMBA, 12.30AM: A man in his 20s was treated for burns after falling into a campfire.

“Unfortunately much of our work is related to alcohol and other substances,” Mr Hunt said.

“Despite something in the order of 1000 cases last night, very few we would’ve considered people in serious conditions.”

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Victoria Police were largely pleased with the behaviour of the overwhelming majority of New Year’s Eve revellers across the state.

At 2am, Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton said crowds at events across Victoria had generally heeded police advice to celebrate safely and responsibly.

“All but a handful of the hundreds of thousands of Victorians enjoying New Year’s Eve festivities have behaved well,” he said.

Kate + Craig