NORTH West Ambulance Service was among five NHS ambulance trusts in England not to meet performance targets in 2009/10.
And the GMB union fears the situation could get worse if the Tory/Liberal Government abolishes the current response targets.
North West Ambulance Service only managed to respond to life-threatening category A calls within eight minutes 73% of the time – the target being 75%.
Justin Bowden, GMB national coordinator for GMB members working in the ambulance service, said: “GMB members who work in the service have problems with the targets but they would be very worried with any attempts at wholesale removal of the targets.
“When members are called out what they often find at the scene differs greatly from what was reported to ambulance controllers.
“Before the current targets are dismantled there needs to be a consensus as to what the elements should be in a clinically driven system that is practical in what is a life and death service. We all need to remember that the eight minute target has been credited with saving the lives of almost 20,000 heart attack victims since it was introduced in 2001.”
Mr Bowden said the proposed changes in response times targets came on top of the “total gamble” contained in the proposals in the White Paper to restructure the management of the NHS in England.
He added: “Meddling politicians need to realise the ambulance service is about saving lives. The only way that the annual 13 million emergency calls and urgent patients' journeys can be responded to in time by ambulance staff and paramedics so as to deliver a proper service to patients, is with proper planning and with enough resources that are well managed and efficiently deployed.”