CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A local ambulance agency is taking action after our Defenders team uncovered an engine emergency.
Our investigation found issues impacting about half of Medic’s fleet. On the heels of that story, Medic provided a new report detailing the number of ambulances that have been repaired and others still needing to be fixed.
County Commissioner Jim Puckett tells NBC Charlotte it’s taking about a month to replace the engine on an ambulance.
Now, he’s asking Medic some very direct questions about the issue.
“The biggest question I had, 'are patients at risk?'” Commissioner Puckett told NBC Charlotte.
This week, Commissioner Puckett took a clear stance with Medic during the county board meeting. He told NBC Charlotte what he said to the ambulance agency during the meeting.
“If my wife is in an ambulance headed to the hospital and it breaks down on the side of the road, I’m not going to be a happy camper,” Commissioner Puckett said.
It comes after our Defenders team revealed half of Medic’s fleet was impacted by engine issues. Medic says that’s 35 of 64 ambulances, specifically those made by manufacturer Navistar.
“As a result of your investigation, we had a report from Medic about the Navistar engine issues,” Commissioner Puckett told NBC Charlotte.
During the county board meeting, Medic gave county commissioners a detailed presentation about progress on repairs.
“Five have been replaced, five are about to complete replacement, and another eight are on deck for replacement,” Commissioner Puckett said.
The biggest concern is the potential impact to patients. NBC Charlotte previously asked Medic Deputy Director Jeff Keith if he thinks about the worst case scenario.
“Every single day,” Keith responded at the time.
NBC Charlotte has also reported on a class action lawsuit filed against Navistar which targeted the MaxxForce engines. However, Medic says the manufacturer has been replacing the engines at no cost.
In a statement Medic said, “We believe this is the best approach to address Medic’s issues with the Navistar vehicle chassis without wasting millions in tax payer dollars. “
Commissioner Puckett said it’s taking about a month to replace to the engine on an ambulance.
“If the manufacturer does not continue to, as aggressively as they can, replace these engines, then suddenly we may have to reassess if that’s the right plan or not,” Puckett said.
Commissioner Puckett said he wants Medic to continue to update the board throughout the process of repairing the ambulances.