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Islington sun-worshippers drive surge in ice cream, Pimm’s and Prosecco sales...and ambulance and fire callouts!

PUBLISHED: 14:56 19 July 2013 | UPDATED: 15:25 19 July 2013

Sunbathers packed out parks as the heatwave shows no signs of stopping

Sunbathers packed out parks as the heatwave shows no signs of stopping

Islington sizzled in tropical temperatures this week while public services across the borough felt the heat with a surge in demand.

Ambulance staff recorded a 21 per cent increase in Category A – life-threatening – incidents while callouts to people fainting in the heat shot up 91.6 per cent.

Meanwhile, fire crews have seen an increase in numbers of people reporting fires which turned out to be barbecues while Islington Council stepped up rubbish collections in parks across the borough as thousands swarmed them.

The strain on public services came as temperatures soared even higher than holiday destinations such as Mumbai, Barbados and even Antigua in the Caribbean.

According to the Met Office, the mercury reached its pinnacle on Wednesday when temperatures hit 32 degrees, triggering a “Level 3” alert – issued when there is a 90 per cent chance of potentially harmful heat wave conditions.

But the sweltering temperatures spelt good news for pubs, bars and ice cream shops which recorded booming sales.

Fabio Beyer, manager of home made Italian ice cream shop Zucono, in Camden Passage, is one boss who has seen a sales spike.

He said: “We have seen a three-fold increase in ice cream sales since the hot weather started. People are loving the temperatures.

“People love Italian ice cream because the recipe is different to the American-style ice cream, it is much healthier for you because it doesn’t have as much of the cream and dairy in it.

“We’re seeing huge smiles on people’s faces. They’re getting stuck in to all the flavours.”

Rachael Martin, manager of the Drapers Arms, said sales in Prosecco and Pimm’s have soared, with the independent pub needing to up orders.

She said: “The beer garden is basically full all lunchtime and all evening. People are just loving it.

“We’ve had to buy in more fruit and more Pimm’s jugs because we just haven’t got enough. There’s a really feel-good vibe. Everyone’s just in good spirits.”

Meanwhile Stories and the Queen of Hoxton in neighbouring Hackney has recorded a surge in sales of Aperol Spritz and Pimm’s.

Greg Edwards, fire fighter at Clerkenwell station, said although park fires are not a risk in Islington due to smaller numbers of green spaces, the crew had been called out to tree fires and reports of blazes which turn out to be barbecues.

“The message is though that we’re happy for people to call us out if they suspect anything, people shouldn’t hesitate as it doesn’t take very much for a fire to take hold in weather like this,” he said.

Islington Council has stepped up patrols to clear mounting piles of litter as sun-worshippers flock to the borough’s parks, a spokesman said.

London Ambulance Service Operations Manager Natasha Wills said: “Among the types of calls that we have seen an increase in are patients with breathing problems, chest pains and fainting.

“Staff have also treated more patients with alcohol-related injuries and illnesses.

“I’d ask the people of Islington to help us to respond to the most seriously ill and injured by only calling 999 in a genuine emergency.”


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