EAST Midlands Ambulance Service chief executive Sue Noyes (pictured) admitted meeting response time targets would be 'challenging' back in July.
She was, however, speaking after a more encouraging period, with the service hitting its targets for the first six months of 2014.
Scrolling through the 7,800 emergency calls that were made from South Derbyshire alone – miniscule in comparison to the vast area it serves, including major cities Derby, Leicester and Nottingham – in the year to August 2014, it provides an idea of the amount of pressure workers are under on a daily basis.
The majority of calls were reached on time, the most serious in under 10 minutes in many cases, but there were also some shocking statistics.
Three hours and 21 minutes after an emergency call was made by a woman in the Swadlincote area who had been sexually assaulted, an ambulance arrived.
A 16-year-old waited 47 minutes for treatment after receiving a 'stab or gunshot' wound in the same area, though following the emergency call his predicament was not being judged as being particularly serious.
As for cases in the 'red' category, which invariably involve people in life-threatening situations, a 90-year-old woman waited 27 minutes for assistance after suffering 'cardiac or respiratory arrest'.
Parents in Swadlincote waited the same amount of time as their baby struggled to breathe, in a case that had also been classed as an emergency.