THE Welsh Ambulance Service is prepared for one of the busiest days in the sporting calendar with the RBS Six Nations poised for kick off this weekend.
More than 140,000 people are expected to descend on Cardiff this Saturday when the reigning Six Nations champions take on Italy at the Millennium Stadium.
The Trust has teamed up with St John Ambulance to provide extra cover in and around the grounds, not just for medical emergencies but for fans who have indulged in too much alcohol too.
The enjoyment of alcoholic drinks, whether consumed at home or in pubs and clubs to celebrate or commiserate, will play a big part in get-togethers throughout the series.
But alcohol is one of the leading causes of accidents in the UK, and heavy drinking can lead to a rise in assaults, including those against ambulance staff.
The Trust is reminding fans to stay on their best behaviour, and take care of themselves and others.
Mike Collins, Director of Service Delivery at the Welsh Ambulance Service, said: “There is a link between major sporting events and excessive drinking which, in turn, leads to an increase in alcohol-related calls to the ambulance service.
“While we’re playing Italy at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday, the Bluebirds are playing Norwich at nearby Cardiff City Stadium, so we’re in for a busy shift.
“It’s easy to forget how much alcohol you have consumed when you’re having fun, but while we are dealing with alcohol-related incidents, we could be delayed in treating someone with a more serious or life-threatening condition, so please act responsibly when dialling 999.”
While crews are out in force for the home games, which also includes Wales versus France on Friday, February 21 and Wales versus Scotland on Saturday, March 15, they will be on high alert for away games too.
Mike added: “Even away games can be busy for us, because the fans that cannot make the match head to their local pub or rugby club to drink there instead.
“Naturally, we want everyone to have a good time, but please have your wits about you and look after yourselves and others.
“The safest way to enjoy alcohol is not to drink on an empty stomach, and alternate water and soft drinks with alcoholic ones.”