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New Year’s Eve busy for Valley first responders and hospitals

(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Fire Department)

PHOENIX — While you prepare for your New Year’s Eve festivities, remember that accidents and emergencies will also happen across the Valley.

“We see a lot more accidents and injuries related to alcohol consumption,” Zach Bair, an emergency room physician at Banner Desert Medical Center in Mesa, told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Friday. “New Year’s Eve brings a little bit more interesting cases in regards to injuries, kind of like the Fourth of July, we might see some firework injuries or burns.”

With those interesting cases, both hospitals and fire departments are preparing across the Valley for a busy few hours as the clock strikes midnight.

“Just because fireworks are legal right now doesn’t mean you have to use them,” Phoenix Fire Captain Kenny Overton said.

Overton doubled down on the precautions with fireworks by saying even the legal ones can be dangerous.

“Sparklers can heat up to 2,000 degrees,” Overton said. “That’s enough to melt metal so imagine what that can do to your hands, clothes or eyes.”

But it’s not just the fireworks that keep first responders and medical professionals busy on the holiday.

Bair said they see an uptick in trauma cases such as assaults and stabbings.

Ahead of the holiday, the Glendale Fire Department is planning for another busy day as residents ring in the new year with plenty of 911 calls.

“Typically, we average about 160-220 calls a day,” Glendale Fire Captain Anthony Valverde said.

Those calls range from things like chest pains, diabetic help, car accidents or fires.

But last year, Glendale firefighters rang in 2019 by staying very busy.

“New Year’s Eve to New Year’s Day was 240 and New Year’s Day was about 139 calls,” Valverde said.

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