AMBULANCE staff have urged festive drinkers to go steady or go home this Christmas.

As thousands of people across the Black Country gearing up to celebrate with friends and family, paramedics will be working harder than ever to deal with the expected increase in alcohol related 999 calls.

Daren Fradgley, assistant chief ambulance officer, said: “We hope that everyone out celebrating has a great time, but, we’re asking people to drink responsibly so that you don’t end your night being treated by us.

“Sadly, as is always the case at this time of year, we’re expecting to see an increase in 999 calls to people who have drunk far too much alcohol.

“Typically our crews respond to cases of people who have slipped over and hurt themselves or been injured after alcohol fuelled misunderstandings turn to violence. We have also had cases where people have gone to sleep outside on their way home and suffered from exposure and even hypothermia when it’s cold.”

Mr Fradgley urged drinkers to eat a filling meal before going out, pace themselves and drink water regularly and to never leave their beverage unattended.

He also encouraged revellers to plan their journey home in advance.