A local ambulance and transportation company is under investigation after state inspectors determined that some of its drivers may not be equipped to respond to emergencies.
Orange “Out of Service” stickers were placed on the backs of several vehicles with Keystone Quality Transport, a medical transport service with locations in Port Richmond, Parkside and Springfield.
Richard Gibbons, director of the State Bureau of EMS confirmed that Keystone was under investigation, though he did not reveal why. Gibbons did tell NBC10 however that the “Out of Service” stickers are indicative of a safety issue.
“There can be a variety of issues,” Gibbons said. “Generally there’s something about the vehicle that makes it an immediate threat or potential immediate threat to life safety. Therefore we put it out of service until it’s corrected.”
A source told NBC10 that Pennsylvania state officials took 30 of Keystone’s ambulances off the road.
Steve Barr, the President and CEO of Keystone, claimed the inspection took him by surprise, though he did not reveal why his company was under investigation.
“It was a pop-up inspection,” Barr said.
Officials with the Public Utility Commission also told NBC10 they’re investigating Keystone’s transport drivers, those who pickup clients with medical needs, after a complaint was made by the Department of Health. Officials say some drivers within the company may not have the proper medical paperwork to prove that they’re fit to drive.
“Several drivers have been taken out of service at this point for lack of possession of a medical card,” said Robin Tilley, a PUC spokesperson.
While Barr is cooperating with the investigation, he also insists that his company wasn’t doing anything to put the public’s safety at risk.
“The fact is we’ve been in business for 20 years,” he said. “We have a clean record with the Pennsylvania Department of Health and an excellent safety record in the region.”
Barr also told NBC10 the company already had some of their ambulances out of service prior to the state’s investigation but didn’t reveal how many.