12/21/2012 09:27 EST | Updated 02/20/2013 05:12 EST

Montreal emergency services stretched thin

After receiving a record number of 911 calls, Urgences Santé is asking people to call for an ambulance only if their life is in danger.

Urgences Santé is reporting a 10 per cent increase of emergency calls over the past few days, compared with the same period of time last year.

The increase has set a record for the Montreal area, and means that resources are being spread thin.

Bob Lamle, Urgences Santé division chief, has asked the Montreal public to call 911 only in life-threatening situations.

He recommends that people call Info Santé at 811 if they aren't in dealing with an emergency.

Info Santé connects members of the public to nurses who can help diagnose health problems, including minor injuries and psychiatric issues, and suggest how best to deal with them.

Urgences Santé said the problem is not related to their ongoing labour dispute.