Ambulance chiefs today admitted they did not have an ambulance available to take a dying man to hospital at the weekend after he collapsed just a mile from their base.
They said three vehicles based at Altnagelvin Hospital in Londonderry were already being used when they received a call on Sunday saying a man had collapsed at a band parade at Church Road. The man later died.
The nearest ambulance was 14 miles away in Limavady and took just 19 minutes to arrive, according to the ambulance service.
The collapsed man was given first aid by two passers-by until a paramedic arrived after 11 minutes.
The details emerged after a statement from the Mayor of Derry, Drew Thompson, who called for a review of resources.
He said: "First of all the gentleman collapsed and the paramedic took 10 or 12 minutes to arrive while the ambulance took 40 minutes to respond.
"My understanding is that there were three ambulances on duty at Altnagelvin and they were on calls. We need to find out if they were doing transfers to Belfast or what type of calls they were on. Local people are totally shattered. He was a gentleman who collapsed at their feet. Two men stepped in and tried to give first aid.
"I can't answer the question if the man would have survived if the ambulance had arrived sooner but it is very hard for the family to think that they had to wait for an ambulance to come from Limavady."
The mayor also said the lack of ambulances was a problem across the whole of the North West and that the allocation of resources should be reviewed.
He said: "The sequence of events is far from satisfactory, there is the feeling that three ambulances are enough but it depends on the circumstances. "