Threats to cut the numbers of ambulance staff at Honley have been dropped, it is claimed.
A major campaign began last month when it emerged Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS) wanted to cut the number of paramedics, ambulance technicians and emergency care assistants that work out of the Holme Valley station.
Despite appalling 999 response times in the rural areas of Kirklees, staff were told eight medics from the village base would be transferred elsewhere and only two ambulances would run, not three.
But late on Tuesday campaigners and staff were celebrating after the unpopular plan was dropped.
A YAS source revealed the U-turn had come completely out of the blue.
He said they had been assured the station would now retain all 20 staff and would keep its three ambulances and five rapid response cars.
However a spokesperson for YAS refused to confirm the decision was final.
“We were having a station meeting about rotas and a manager suddenly announced that we were staying as we as we are,” said the source.
“It’s completely out of the blue, but very welcome.
“Management said they had listened to staff concerns and it was nothing to do with outside pressure.
“We know that’s rubbish; I think they were quite annoyed about the link with Hands Off HRI and that they’d been summoned to many meetings by local MPs and councillors.”
Paul Mudd, YAS’s Locality Director for Emergency Operations in West Yorkshire, declined to confirm that the decision was final.
He said: “We are always looking to improve the services we provide to patients and are constantly reviewing our resources to ensure that our staff and vehicles are in the right place at the right time to respond to patients needing our assistance.
“The proposed cover in Honley is currently under consultation and, as part of this, a revised rota has been put forward to staff.
“The current work taking place on reviewing rotas across the region is on-going and no final decisions have been made at this stage.
“We remain committed to providing a safe, high quality service for the people of Yorkshire.”
News of the apparent U-turn first broke on the Hands Off Honley Ambulance Station Facebook group with dozens of members celebrating the decision.
Karl Deitch, president of the Hands Off HRI campaign, said: “This is absolutely fantastic news – next we save our HRI.”
The Examiner has revealed that the latest emergency response figures show over the spring and summer of this year, ambulances only made it to the HD8 postcode within NHS “Red” targets on one out of five occasions.
The Red target asks crews to get to patients within eight minutes three-quarters of the time.
In the Huddersfield area, the target is only achieved in two postcodes – HD1 and HD3.