An elderly couple waited THREE HOURS for an ambulance to arrive while they struggled to breathe after a house fire.
Patricia and Terry Johnson, who were suffering from smoke inhalation, were given oxygen repeatedly by firefighters during the mammoth wait.
Both in their 70s, Mrs Johnson is virtually housebound and Mr Johnson has a history of heart problems, say neighbours in Olney.
“They were deemed in need of urgent medical attention. The firefighters were looking after them but they used all their oxygen supplies and had to send out for more. Nobody could understand why the ambulance was taking so long,” said one resident.
The couple’s Spinney Hill Road kitchen caught fire last Thursday evening, filling their home with lethal smoke.
Fire crews arrived within 10 minutes and found the Johnsons had managed to get themselves outside, but were gasping for air.
They requested an ambulance at 8.06pm. It arrived at 11.05pm.
A spokesman for South Central ambulance blamed the delay on “high levels of demand” and apologised to the patients.
“We are sorry that on this occasion the timely service we aim to achieve was not of the standard we set ourselves and strive to deliver for every patient,”he said.
Ironically the delay happened just days before the final decision is due to be made on building a new blue light hub at West Ashland to provide a more efficient local service for fire and ambulance and police services .
This week the results of a public survey showed nine out of 10 people are AGAINST the multi- million pound hub – because it would mean closing Bletchley and Great Holm fire stations.
People’s main fear was that services in the north of the city could suffer due to the distance from West Ashcroft.
But the public reaction may be branded a damp squib.
The views represent less 0.5 per cent of MK’s population, with only 782 people responding to the online consultation questionnaire. More than 100 of these did not even complete it.
Now the final decision will be made next Wednesday by 17 councillors who make up the local fire authority.
Meanwhile the matter has sparked political debate, with the Labour-run council in opposition and a protest petition organised by MK Labour Party gathering 2,000 signatures.
One Labour councillor, Zoe Nolan, has already made a retraction after wrongly accusing the fire authority of having plans to sell off the Great Holm site for redevelopment.
Fire chief Jason Thelwell said he was “disappointed” Ms Nolan questioned the integrity of the consultation exercise.
The fire authority wil meet at 11am at the civic offices in MK.