An Illawarra paramedic has blamed a minority who "fail to look after their mates" and "fight among themselves" for making New Year's Eve difficult for emergency service workers.
Inspector Norman Rees, the Ambulance NSW Wollongong area commander for New Year's Eve, said paramedics had encountered a large number of highly intoxicated people who had been abandoned by their friends.
"In spite of our plea for people to look after their friends if they had too much alcohol, it didn't work out that way," he said.
Insp Rees said callouts appeared to occur in cycles, with a lull between 11.30pm and 12.30am.
"Unfortunately about 9.30 when families went home that's when the drunks came out to play and we were going to multiple drug and alcohol overdoses, and intoxicated persons found on footpaths."
A paramedic was also allegedly spat on and threatened with abuse while trying to attend to a patient in Berkeley about 10pm on New Year's Eve.
Paramedics treated at least 14 people for intoxication in the Illawarra between 8.46pm Tuesday and 1.04am Wednesday, including at least three who were found unconscious in the street.
At least four people were treated as a result of alleged assaults, plus one incident where paramedics treated multiple patients following an alleged brawl in Unanderra.
Insp Rees said it was a disappointing result.
"I really don't know what to say to them," he said.
"They just keep doing it, they get intoxicated, they fight amongst themselves and you can't reason with them.
"It's disappointing - we made a request for people to look after their mates, not to use the ambulance as a dumping ground ... the majority were very well behaved but there's that minority that want to get drunk and leave their mates or bash other people," he said.
"They're the ones that make it hard for us."