Ralph B. DavisHeartland News Service
August 22, 2012
Julia Roberts Goad
PHELPS — The communities of Phelps and Kimper are without speedy ambulance service due to a company closing.
Questcare EMS, which provided ambulance service to the area, was suspended from operations earlier this month by the Kentucky Board of Emergency Medical Services.
KBEMS investigated Questcare and found deficiencies with the company were severe enough to closed their operations in Pike, Floyd, Johnson, Martin, and Magoffin counties.
District Five Magistrate Hilman Dotson brought the matter up to Pike County Fiscal Court,said that the issue “has become a big concern.”
He said if someone in the area needs an ambulance, it has to come from Johns Creek, Elkhorn or Pikeville.
Dotson asked Doug Tackett, Emergency Services Director for the county, about the process of getting Questcare EMS reinstated to provide service in the county.
“I don’t have any authority over the ambulance services at all,” Tackett said. “They were supposed to be reinstated this week, but I haven’t heard anything yet.”
He said EBEMS is aware they took at least five ambulances out of services in the county. He said another company, Transtar, is licensed to service the county. Tackett has been in contact with that company, and said they are in the process of trying to get ambulances to service the area. He said Transtar did not have enough ambulances, but they were working to get those vehicles.
Tackett said there are two services that are licensed to operate county-wide, Questcare and Transtar, so Transtar would not have to obtain further certification, “just find a place they can set up shop over there.”
Magistrate Dotson told Tackett his District needs expeditious ambulance service.
“We are kind of isolated in the Phelps and Kimper area,” Dotson said. “We’d appreciate it if you would stay on top of it and let us know if Questcare is not going to get reinstated.”
The Williamson Daily News contacted Pike County Emergency Services Wednesday. That office said they had not been contacted by Questcare.
Ellen Houston, an attorney for Questcare EMS, told the Daily News it is her understanding a decision the company’s reinstatement by KBEMS would be made by Friday, Aug. 24.