VIDEO: Stay safe this Australia Day

In the lead up to the Australia Day long weekend, NSW Paramedics are encouraging people to act responsibly.

Western Division duty operations manager Kathy Golledge said people need to enjoy themselves sensibly so they don’t end up in hospital.

“All that we ask is that people behave responsibly and take care to ensure they see the period through with their health intact,” she said.

Fifteen people have died on NSW roads since the start of the year, with many more suffering critical injuries.

“In the lead up to Australia Day we are expecting an increase in road trauma, so we are encouraging people to drive safely, to take precautions and to be careful,” she said.

“It is a distressing fact that many people have suffered the loss of loved ones through road and waterways incidents over the holiday period,” she said.

Since the start of the summer break on December 22, through to January 22, paramedics responded to 148 Triple zero calls for drowning, near drowning and diving incidents across NSW and 217 calls for trauma incidents with serious haemorrhage. Heat exposure accounted for another 341 calls.

With Australia Day coinciding with a long weekend, the traditionally high number of call-outs for intoxication is expected to rise.

Ms Golledge said it was important to drink responsibly and stay hydrated in this hot weather.

“Keep hydrated always have plenty of water and try keep cool because we do have an increase in dehydration in this hotter weather.”

People are advised to have basic first aid skills and ready access to a first aid kit. This is especially so if people are participating in activities removed from immediate medical assistance or are engaging in high risk activities.

Advice in relation to swimming:

* Always supervise children

* Swim at patrolled beaches, between the flags

* Don’t drink alcohol and swim

* Always check the water depth and for the possibility of unseen obstacles

* Never swim alone

In relation to remote activities:

* Tell someone where you are going and when you’ll be back

* Ensure your vehicle is serviced and suited to the activity

* Have plenty of spare water and a first aid kit

* Invest in or hire a personal Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB)

* Thoroughly plan the activity before departing

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