FURIOUS campaigners claim an ambulance station was left unmanned for 12 hours.

Families have expressed fears about their safety after cuts to dedicated resources on Canvey Island.

A source close to the ambulance service revealed the station on Sydervelt Road, Canvey, had no medics directly on hand to deal with emergencies on the island overnight between Monday and Tuesday.

Due to the restricted access on the island, residents are desperate for a dedicated resource to remain and 1,778 people have signed a petition for a rapid response car or ambulance to remain manned on the island.

During the night, ambulances and a rapid response vehicle were parked up, but there were no paramedics left on duty to use them.

Maureen Tilley, 68, of May Avenue, Canvey, said: “I think it’s disgusting that we have no cover.

“What is the point of a closed ambulance station, if someone had a serious heart attack or worse they might not survive.

“I think something’s got to be done about the issue.

“We need and deserve much better service, I know all medical workers are under huge amounts of pressure, but this is not acceptable.

“It makes it worse that it was unmanned at the busiest time of year just before Christmas.

“We cannot stand for this - it’s a disaster waiting to happen.”

Barbara Cox, 75, from Long Road, Canvey, said: “In category one calls, such as cardiac arrests, the time in getting a paramedic on scene can be the difference between life and death.

“Ambulances will be occupied with patients and transporting them to Southend or Basildon hospital and so be unable to provide a fast response to Canvey residents.

“We all pay our rates which are used towards these services and it’s not acceptable.

“Serious questions need to be asked if we cannot staff an ambulance station and people are therefore being put at risk.”

The East of England Ambulance Service disputed claims there was no cover, highlighting that all its vehicles cover all areas. A spokesman said: “No area is left uncovered at any time. Patients in Canvey Island and all other locations are responded to by the nearest available resource and according to how severe their situation is.”