AMBULANCE chiefs have issued a festive 'drink sensibly' plea.

Bosses at Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS) made the appeal after it was revealed that last year, around 2,800 of the 999 calls received during December were alcohol-related.

The highest number – 155 – were on Christmas Eve.

December also saw a 16 per cent month-on-month increase in the volume of calls related to assault or unconsciousness, from 3,810 to 4,405.

Stephen Segasby, deputy director of operations at YAS, said: "While our ambulance crews are responding to patients who have simply had too much to drink or have sustained alcohol-related injuries which could have been avoided, they are not available to respond to life-threatening emergencies.

"We are not saying people shouldn't enjoy a few alcoholic drinks while celebrating, but we would ask that they do it sensibly to ensure our ambulance crews are free to help someone who genuinely needs us."

Traditionally, YAS sees a significant rise in 999 calls on the last Friday before Christmas, which has become known as Mad Friday.