TA Face Vombardment

For the 6th year in a row, an emergency medical tent run by the Territorial Army was set up in Cambridge to deal with the New Year’s Eve casualties.

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For the 6th New Year’s Eve running, the Territorial Army set up an emergency medical tent in Cambridge to help police and hospital services cope with drunken revellers.

Binge-drinking pubbers and clubbers were able to take advantage of the army’s medical tent, which was set up in the City Centre, between 10pm and 4am.

The tent was decked out with camp beds, chairs, defibrillators, saline drips and even a suction device to prevent drunk people from suffocating on their own vomit.

The tent, which was manned by 12 TA volunteers, was set up with the intention of freeing up hospital beds in Addenbrookes, during what is tradtionally one of the hospital’s busiest times of the year.

Major Marion Wilson, who was in charge, said: the effort was a sad reflection of “the problem of binge Britain.”

She added: “Many people have too much to drink and we don’t want these young people taking up hospital beds which are needed by people in a genuine emergency.”


The first case the tent tackled involved a 19-year-old girl who had twisted her back whilst getting out of a taxi. As the night went on, the drunkenness and the casualties escalated:

10.50pm: Medics treated a girl who attempted to leapfrog a bollard and fell on her face

11pm: Two policemen dragged a severely drunk girl, who was unable to walk, into the tent after she had vomited into a taxi through an open window

12.40am: A man was treated in the tent for injuries he sustained during a drunken street brawl.

By the end of  the night, Major Wilson said: the tent “stank of stale alcohol and vomit.

“People are drunk as they come into town, probably haven’t eaten, and go on to drink even more alcohol. It’s not that they are alcoholics but they cannot drink sensibly.”

But, binge drinking wasn’t the only source of police concern on NYE. As temperatures dropped to -4 degrees, police and medics started to worry about scantily-clad girls who were at risk of catching hypothermia.

Sargent Major Paul Scott said: “When you have a young girl with next to nothing on who has quite a bit of alcohol, they can go down with the cold and potentially risk their lives.”

Over the last 6 years, the TA medical team, NHS paramedics, St John Ambulance and Cambridge police have treated over 130 people and given general assistance to many more on New Year’s Eves.