NC county leader demands answers on ambulance reliability

Mecklenburg County Commissioner Pat Cotham said it’s “disappointing” that half of the county’s ambulance fleet has engine issues

By EMS1 Staff

MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. — A county leader is demanding answers about ambulance reliability after it was revealed that half of the county’s fleet has engine issues.

WCNC reported that Mecklenburg County Commissioner Pat Cotham is wondering if the Medic ambulances will be fixed quickly.

“It is certainly concerning and disappointing we are having to face this,” Cotham said. “I have called an ambulance to my home several times; it’s important to know someone is coming.”

An exclusive report from WCNC found that three Medic ambulances are out of commission and at least eight more still need repairs. It was also revealed that Navistar, the ambulance manufacturer, is being sued in a class action lawsuit for the Maxx Force engines that are being used.

“I would probably like to know how many problems nationwide they are dealing with,” Cotham said. “If there is a class action suit, we clearly need to be a part of it.”

Medic deputy director Jeff Keith said that no engine issues have occurred while an ambulance was transporting a patient, but they have happened out on the road.

“It’s very much a concern, and when I say very much a concern, nobody wants to have concerns over the reliability of something like their ambulance fleet,” Keith said.

Navistar is repairing the ambulances free of charge, according to Medic officials, and Keith said he hopes they will inspect all of the ambulances using Maxx Force engines.

“The big problem is, are they going to fix it in a timely fashion and are they going to cover it up?” Cotham said. “I just want transparency, and then I want it to be fixed.”


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