AMBULANCE bosses are warning people to stay prepared and safe as preparations for their version of Black Friday begins.

The East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) has asked residents to ensure they take the right steps to be safe, avoid accidents and enjoy the festive season safely.

This Friday is due to be one of the busiest of the year for the ambulance service as Christmas parties and late nights often lead to more call outs.

EEAST has put in a specific plan to cope with the increased winter demand which includes comprehensive staffing, resourcing and management arrangements.

Initiatives are also in place for Christmas and New Year including increased clinical support in control rooms.

But people are being urged to take steps to prevent needing and emergency or urgent care by following some simple tips.

EEAST medical director Dr Tom Davis urged people to be prepared.

He said: “Our robust plan puts patients at the heart of what we do by working closely with hospitals and other NHS partners to ensure patients get the best quality car.

“This is a time of year when we get together with family and friends to celebrate.

“We ask that people just take a little time to prepare for a safe celebration, so they can enjoy Christmas.

“If you get prepared for the fortnight, it can pay dividends and prevent you needing to use NHS services.”

Amongst the tips include ensuring there is enough medication in the house to help with the effects of over indulgence or minor scraps which can be treated at home, ensuring a safe way home from a night out is planned and always stay well hydrated.

Experts also advise cold weather can make some conditions worse so anyone with long-term ailments should ensure they have enough medication to hand to last them throughout the festive season.

The ambulance service’s work will be overseen by a new regional tactical command cell, which will ensure senior staff are available and on-call 24/7 and can escalate any issues which may arise so that immediate mitigating action can be taken.

To find out the best option for medical care call 111 and only call 999 if it is an emergency.