EMERGENCY medics are urging people to stay safe as Christmas party season hits top gear in the Black Country.

West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) is preparing for one of its busiest weekends of the year by deploying up to 20 per cent more ambulances at peak times.

Health chiefs say a combination of excess alcohol and cold weather can cause a variety of problems.

WMAS medical director, Dr Andy Carson, said: “We hope that everyone out celebrating has a great time, but would ask that you look out for your friends and work colleagues to ensure that everyone gets home safely at the end of the night.

“Sadly, the reality is that in the past we have seen a number of people that have had too much to drink suffer from hypothermia after falling asleep outside.

“The service also receives an increase in calls to those people who have slipped over and hurt themselves. We also see people who have been injured after misunderstandings have turned to violence."