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Questcare EMS temporarily shut down

By: Whitney Burks Email
By: Whitney Burks Email

FLOYD COUNTY, Ky (WYMT) - It came as a surprise not only to employees but also some emergency management officials.

Thursday Questcare EMS was told it could no longer operate and all of its active licenses were being temporarily suspended.

It is a decision that leaves more than 100 Eastern Kentuckians out of work, at least for now, and it seems no one expected it.

"Surprise! You know I was working yesterday, waiting on a run to come in. There was none to come," said Questcare EMT Stephenie Burchett.

The Kentucky Board of EMS issued a temporary order of suspension for Questcare's five licenses after inspections earlier this month, but employees say they were told everything was fine.

"They looked at us last Tuesday and told us 'Oh don't worry about this. There's no problem.' They told us every one of our trucks passed, and then we're shut down," said Burchett.

The order of suspension says many ambulances failed inspections due to bald tires, failed air conditioning, failure of emergency lights, and lack of cleanliness.

It also says four employees failed an audit of continuing education.

Questcare operates in five counties, all of which have other ambulances services available except Magoffin County.

"This should open Frankfort's eyes that the county really needs two ambulance services," said Magoffin County Fire Chief Paul Howard.

Magoffin County officials say Trans-Star is bringing ambulances to the area to help cover, but they say right now it is at least a twenty minute wait for any ambulances to respond to an emergency.

But even they say they thought Questcare passed inspections, and they have not seen any reasons for them to be suspended.

"Nothing to ground them totally to shut them completely down," said Howard.

Employees say they do not agree with the decision, and now all they can do is hope it turns around.

Questcare can appeal the suspension which will remain in place until all appeals are completed.

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