AMBULANCE bosses are urging people to take simple steps to stay safe during the current cold snap.
The North East Ambulance Service has issued a warning, saying such wintry spells often lead to an increased number of people needing help after slips, trips and falls, along with suffering respiratory problems.
The service is now calling on people to take precautions to make sure they stay healthy this winter.
A NEAS spokeswoman said: “Winter is always the busiest time of the year for NEAS, and you can help us keep emergency ambulances available for life-threatening situations by taking a few simple precautions.
“If you have mobility problems, try and avoid going outside. Is there a friend, neighbour or relative who could help?
“Do you know someone who might be at risk during the cold-snap? If so, pop in and see if they are ok, or give them a telephone call.
“If you do have to go outside, make sure you are wearing suitable clothing and footwear.
“Keep warm with central heating, blankets and hot drinks
“If you do become unwell or suffer a minor injury, contact your GP, pharamcist or walk-in health centre. Or if you live in the County Durham area, call 111. This helps keep the 999 service free for genuine life-threatening emergencies.”