NJ EMS fined $617K for unlicensed vehicles, noncertified personnel

The New Jersey Department of Health cited hundreds of instances of unlicensed ambulances running with only one EMT or with noncertified staff members


By Laura French

LACEY TOWNSHIP, N.J. — A New Jersey EMS agency was fined $617,000 for running understaffed ambulances, sending unlicensed vehicles and using noncertified staff on calls.

Officials at the New Jersey Department of Health opened an investigation into Lanoka Harbor EMS after an anonymous complaint was filed, claiming the agency was using unlicensed vehicles.

Lanoka Harbor EMS was fined $617,000 after the New Jersey Department of Health said it ran ambulances with only one EMT, sent noncertified personnel on calls and ran four unlicensed vehicles. The EMS disputes the Department of Health's claims. (Photo/Lanoka Harbor EMS)
Lanoka Harbor EMS was fined $617,000 after the New Jersey Department of Health said it ran ambulances with only one EMT, sent noncertified personnel on calls and ran four unlicensed vehicles. The EMS disputes the Department of Health's claims. (Photo/Lanoka Harbor EMS)

Over the course of a year beginning in June 2018, Lanoka Harbor EMS used two unlicensed ambulances to answer 102 emergency calls, according to a letter to the agency from the New Jersey Department of Health, the Press of Atlantic City reported

During that same time period, state officials claim the agency's ambulances responded to 529 calls with only one EMT on board, and with noncertified personnel 264 times. 

For each use of an unlicensed or understaffed ambulance, the health department fined the agency $1,000. 

Lanoka Harbor EMS leaders disputed the claims by the Department of Health.

“There are several inaccuracies in the letter that was issued by the State of New Jersey and we are appealing it,” Lanoka Harbor EMS Chief Justin Meehan told the Press of Atlantic City.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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