THE Ambulance Employees Association has slammed the State Government for trying to cover up the Wimmera's ambulance crisis.
Health Minister David Davis released response time figures for ambulances across the Wimmera on Thursday.
The figures showed that the Horsham ambulance service responded to half of its code one calls within eight minutes between January and March this year.
The Nhill service responded to half its code one calls within 13 minutes, while Warracknabeal and Dimboola stretched out to within 21 minutes.
But association state secretary Steve McGhie said the figures failed to show the real story.
"That doesn't reflect the true picture because it is only measuring at the half way mark; half of the response times were above that," he said.
"It is like watching a sports match and pulling the score from half time; you are not getting the full picture.
"If he wants to be transparent he should release the figures using the normal benchmark, which is responding to 90 per cent of code one calls within 15 minutes."
Wimmera services failed to meet the benchmark between July and December last year.
Figures obtained through Freedom of Information show that the St Arnaud ambulance service tripled the benchmark, responding to 90 per cent of code one calls within 45 minutes.
The Nhill, Warracknabeal, Edenhope, Dimboola and Hopetoun services more than doubled the benchmark of 15 minutes.
Mr McGhie said the Wimmera's ambulance crisis was worsening, despite the Grampians region gaining more than 30 paramedics during the past three years.
"The Grampians region has the lowest number of staff in the state," he said.
"Although there are more paramedics, there is hardly any more resources on the road.
"Those new paramedics will be filling the gaps by floating across the region filling sick leave and work cover rather to meet minimum standards.
"The minister is trying to promote a good news story when for years we have been suggesting that the ambulance service has been, and still is, in crisis."
Mr Davis said regional residents were now more likely to survive a heart attack.
"Thanks to the dedicated work of Ambulance Victoria and our highly skilled paramedics, cardiac arrest survival rates in Victoria are now among the best in the world," he said.
"Ambulance Victoria data confirms that cardiac arrest survival rates in rural Victoria have more than doubled since 2009."