Eastern Kentucky ambulance service under investigation

By: Whitney Burks Email
By: Whitney Burks Email

An investigation is ongoing into an Eastern Kentucky ambulance service.

Officials with the Kentucky Board of EMS say they received several complaints about Questcare Ambulance Services and have found various violations including a lack of air conditioning in more than a dozen of its ambulances.

KBEMS officials are not saying much about the investigation.

"All that we can really tell you right now is that we do have an audit of continuing education hours ongoing. We also have the formal investigation, and that includes various violations," said Pam Duncan, KBEMS Legal Counsel.

Last week they held a preliminary hearing to discuss the issues which included the fact that 13 of Questcare's ambulances did not have proper air conditioning and had to be taken out of service.

Extremely hot temperatures are in the forecast leaving some people wondering how an ambulance service can properly treat patients without properly air conditioned vehicles.

Former employees John Cruse and Starlie Driskill say they left the company because they were so fed up with its practices.

"If you don't have a working air conditioner in that truck and you have someone with shortness of air, you're going to make the patient worse," said Cruse.

"They just want to put band-aids on the ambulances they have and see if that would work. I'm sorry to say all the band-aids in the world and all the wax in the world is not going to hold those trucks together, and it's not going to keep those patients from dying," said Driskill.

KBEMS would not tell us what other violations they found, but they did say the preliminary board had reached a decision on their findings, and once Questcare was notified of that decision they would have the option to either settle with the board or appeal it in another hearing.

They also told us that four ambulances were able to go back into service after follow-up inspections.

Questcare serves Pike, Floyd, Magoffin, and Johnson Counties.

Officials at the headquarters did not want to comment on the investigation.


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