Ambulance service 'sincerely regrets' 19 minute delay to reach shooting victim Michael McGibbon
The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service has apologised for taking 19 minutes to reach taxi driver Michael McGibbon after he was shot in north Belfast.
Mr McGibbon was blasted in the legs three times in a shooting by appointment thought to have been ordered by dissident republicans in an alleyway in the Ardoyne area last Friday.
The 33-year-old later died in his wife Joanne's arms.
An ambulance took 19 minutes to arrive to the scene of the attack on the father-of-four despite an ambulance station being just minutes away on Mountainview park.
A Northern Ireland Ambulance Service spokesman said the delay was due to the volume of calls in the area at the time.
He said: “The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service received a call at 22:01 on Friday April 15 relating to a shooting incident in Ardoyne."
"All ambulance resources in the greater Belfast area were already engaged in other emergency activity at the time of the call.
"Realising the serious nature of the call, the control officer contacted the emergency department of the RVH in an effort to release a crew as a matter of urgency to respond.
"The first crew became available to respond at 22:12 and were allocated the call immediately. The crew arrived at the scene at 22:20.
"The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service sincerely regrets that it was unable to provide a more speedy response to this call."
Government regulations state 72.5% of emergency calls each month should be responded to within eight minutes but between March and October last year 53.7% of calls were outside this target.