AMBULANCE staff in West Yorkshire are being swamped by calls.
Crews have been tackling up to 1,000 calls a day over the holiday - a huge increase on the normal figure of between 600 and 800.
And despite a plea from ambulance bosses, many people have been accused of wasting the service's time.
There have been many calls from people with trivial problems or even wanting information.
Emergency medical dispatchers at the service's A and E communications centre in Wakefield have been answering anything from 900 to over 1,000 calls a day.
Calls about life-threatening emergencies also rose by up to 58%.
But some people still dialled 999 for non-emergencies.
Examples of inappropriate calls include:
* A man asking ambulance staff to call his daughter and ask her to lock the door, as he had forgotten to
* A woman who had been thrown out of one casualty department wanting an emergency ambulance to take her to another
* A man who was drunk and wanted a lift home
* A caller who had sprained his ankle two weeks ago and wanted a lift to casualty
* A woman who dialled 999 - then told the dispatcher not to send an ambulance because she didn't want to wake up the neighbours.
The service's director of operations, Andrew Cratchley, said: "This is a busy time for the service, but we continually strive to do our best for patients and to make the best use of our resources.
"Our staff have worked flat out to cope with demand over Christmas and I would like to thank them and their families for their tremendous support at this crucial time."
He added: "We still have what is usually our busiest night of the year ahead - New Year's Eve. So I would ask people to think before they dial 999 and only call in a genuine emergency.
"We want to make sure these calls about life-threatening cases are dealt with quickly and the appropriate care and treatment given.
"We can only do this if people use the service appropriately."
* For confidential health advice and information 24 hours a day you can contact NHS Direct on 0845 4647. Alternatively you can go online for health information at www.nhsdirect. co.uk