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Ambos warn against Christmas complacency

Be aware and stay alive. That’s the message from Ambulance Victoria Western Hume Region manager Bert Orr, who says people need to continue to be vigilant — whether on the roads or out on the river.

JESSICA GRIMBLE December 13, 2012 5:00am

Be aware and stay alive.

That’s the message from Ambulance Victoria Western Hume Region manager Bert Orr, who says people need to continue to be vigilant — whether on the roads or out on the river.

He is concerned people relax their attitudes towards safety during the Christmas period — and that’s when accidents occur and his team is called to respond.

He said responding to a call involving an injured or deceased child was particularly difficult.

Mr Orr’s message targeted a range of issues — including mobile phone use while driving, appointing a designated driver on nights out, restraining children or pets and not leaving them unattended in a vehicle, high volumes of traffic during the festive season and fatigue.

‘‘There is a high level of people who are talking on their phones or texting while they are driving — it means the person is distracted, and distractions injure or kill,’’ he said.

‘‘The traffic on our arterial roads will steadily increase during the Christmas period and people need to watch their fatigue levels. People need to stop and stretch their legs every two to two-and-a-half hours to get the blood flowing — and have a bite to eat and drink water to ease the fatigue.

‘‘One of the biggest co-contributors to injuries in young people and children is being unrestrained in cars. This also goes for pets — who are also part of the family.’’

Mr Orr warned locking children or pets in hot vehicles could prove a fatal decision.

He also called on campers to remain aware of their location in case of emergency.

He said all too often the person calling 000 could not provide an accurate location, which delayed the all-important response time.

‘‘People should remember that there is an increase of (tiger and brown) snakes and they are on the prowl. The river, at this time of the year, is as bad as the roads.’’

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