Lansford Ambulance Association is temporarily out of service until it brings the equipment in its vehicles into compliance with state standards, according to the state Department of Health.
"At the end of June there was a spot check inspection done on a Lansford Ambulance Service ambulance and it was determined that some equipment on the vehicle was not in compliance with state standards," said Department of Health spokeswoman Holli Senior. "Because of this, an 'out of service' decal was placed on the vehicle. The decal remains on the vehicle until the deficiencies are corrected and approved.
"A follow-up inspection was done to check on the status of the ambulance and at that time it was determined that the deficiencies had not yet been corrected. Additionally, the second ambulance of the service was inspected and deficiencies were also found with that vehicle causing for an 'out of service' decal to be placed on it as well," she said.
"With the service only having two operating ambulances, this put them on temporary suspension because they are unable to operate with no vehicles currently in compliance. When the agency corrects the deficiencies and requests a re-inspection, the suspension can be lifted," Senior said.
Eastern PA EMS Council Executive Director/CEO Everitt F. Binns said the association must comply with standards outlined in the state's EMS Act.
"They do not have the equipment on the trucks to be able to respond. There are minimum standards they must meet equipment, training and staff to respond, and they cannot meet those at the moment," he said.
Until the equipment is brought up to standards and the association is put back in service, Tamaqua Ambulance Association will cover Coaldale, and Lehighton Ambulance will cover Lansford.
Coaldale council learned of the suspension of service during a public meeting Tuesday. However, no one knew why it was taken out of service.
Those Lansford Ambulance Association members asked for information on the change of status denied the requests.