A SCHOOLGIRL was made to wait 40 minutes for an ambulance after being struck by lightning in Swadlincote.
The 15-year-old was among dozens of stricken people in South Derbyshire who were kept waiting for assistance from paramedics during the last 12 months.
The cases can be revealed following a Freedom of Information request by the Mail, which also showed a woman waited for three hours and 21 minutes after being sexually assaulted before an ambulance reached her.
Paramedics also took two hours and six minutes to attend to a woman complaining of breathing problems and an hour and 19 minutes to reach a car crash victim.
The teenager electrocuted after being struck by lightning in the Swadlincote area waited 40 minutes and 53 seconds from when an emergency call was made.
Bosses at East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS), which responds to incidents in South Derbyshire, said that due to the pressure it is under from the sheer number of calls it receives on a daily basis, it was forced to prioritise the most serious cases.
The data showed the majority of calls categorised as 'red' – the most serious, and mostly life-threatening – were reached in fewer than 15 minutes, though there were occasions when patients in life or death situations were forced to wait considerably longer.
This included a 96-year-old woman who suffered a stroke and waited 32 minutes for an ambulance.
Last month it was revealed that the service had failed to meet its response time targets during July.
EMAS is expected to meet three-quarters of patients with life-threatening conditions in eight minutes.
A spokesman said: "Every day we receive roughly 2,000 calls from members of the public dialling 999.
"In December 2013, we introduced an improvement plan – Better Patient Care – and the actions it contained led to faster response times being achieved. For the period April to June 2014, we hit all three national performance standards. This was the first time we have achieved this since 2010, which demonstrates EMAS is an improving organisation."