The Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) is preparing to deal with the challenges that adverse weather conditions can bring at this time of the year with a record number of ambulances.
The emergency ambulance fleet of 150 vehicles will include those equipped with winter tyres or snow chains, as well as 4x4s, specialist Land Rovers and six-wheeled Polaris machines that can operate in difficult terrain.
At what is the busiest time of year for SAS, there will be a 20% rise in resources at peak times to deal with an increase in emergency calls.
With public sector organisations and motorists across the country getting ready for a repeat of last winter's bad weather, measures to avoid bumps and scraps and van insurance claims would be wise.
After visiting SAS crews, Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said: "Last year's winter was one of the most severe ever seen in Scotland so it is important that we are well prepared for the festive period to help keep our NHS moving.
"This year the SAS's emergency fleet includes over 150 vehicles that are equipped to deal with severe weather and I was delighted to meet first hand some of our all weather warriors from the special operations response teams this morning, who play a vital role during extreme conditions."
© Press Association 2011