State Police Investigate Ambulance Company Already Under Scrutiny

Pennsylvania State Police are now investigating a local ambulance and transportation company that's already under scrutiny.

State police confiscated ambulance inspection logs at the inspection station for Keystone Quality Transport, a medical transport service with locations in Port Richmond, Parkside and Springfield.

"We received a report of possible inspection violations," said Pennsylvania State Trooper Lou Vitalli. "I did find a number of violations and the investigation will continue. I can't comment on too much of that as of yet."

A source close to the investigation told NBC10 those violations may include fraud and forgery. A spokesperson for Keystone said the company would not comment until "they have further contact with state police."

The Pennsylvania State Police Department is the third agency to investigate Keystone. Earlier in the month, the Public Utility Commission and the State Department of Health both began to investigate the company for possible safety violations. Dozens of vehicles and five drivers were taken off the streets.

Richard Gibbons, director of the State Bureau of EMS told NBC10 that the orange “Out of Service” stickers placed on the back of the vehicles by state officials were 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.”

Last Thursday, a Keystone ambulance that was carrying a sick baby broke down on the Garden State Parkway. The child had to be taken by medical chopper to St. Christopher’s Hospital as the ambulance was towed.

A Keystone spokesperson claimed the ambulance hit an object in the road that caused a flat tire. Daniel Scull, the general manager of Court House Towing, doesn’t believe that’s what happened however.

“That wasn’t something that you could just run over,” Scull said. “In the event that it was, then both tires would be flat and they’d still be intact. It was not just a flat tire.”

A picture of the ambulance shows that the rear tire was completely missing. Scull says the lug nuts and studs that hold the tire on the vehicle were broken.

“We have to rely on our ambulances to be in tip top shape for the specific reasons that when we need to go somewhere and be transported, we rely on that to save our life,” Scull said.

Scull also says the tire that came off the ambulance was never found.

Officials with Keystone say all of the vehicles the state took out of service should be back on the road by the end of the week. All three state agencies say their investigations are ongoing.

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