Busy summer for local ambosFriday January 25, 2013 - 14:12 EDT
The Hunter's ambulance paramedics say a recent spate of bushfires, coupled with the extreme heat, has lead to a very busy start to summer.
Paramedics have been called to hundreds of emergencies over the holiday period, including car accidents and alcohol-related incidents.
Hunter Inspector Graeme Silver says the majority of calls for help have been water-related, with a surprising increase in scuba diving accidents.
He says local paramedics have been kept busy.
"We've got a spike but that's more in relation to the hot weather, also the fires," he said.
"Last week, as we're all aware, we had major fires in the area and that created some work load for us.
"Plus the extreme weather - very busy!"
© ABC 2013
More breaking news
A friend of a man feared drowned in floodwaters near Kyogle has told of "helplessly watching" the 72-year-old as he clung to a tree before being swept downstream.
Rain gauges as far north as the Gulf of Carpentaria and south to Ulladulla have received decent rainfall in the last 24 hours, some of which caused dangerous flooding.
Launceston's flood levees have been hailed as a game-changer in minimising the impact of the June flood emergency.