Marysville-based Kare Medical Transport remains stationed in London, despite months of legal conflict with Madison County EMD.
A Kare employee said the emergency ambulance continues to provide service to the London community. Although, no vehicles were visible at the company’s Park Avenue station on Friday afternoon.
The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (DRC) cancelled Kare’s contract to transport ill and injured prisoners to and from Madison Correctional Institution (MaCI) and London Correctional Institution (LoCI) on Oct. 10.
London-based Madison County EMD won a default judgment against Kare for $24,832 in August.
Madison County EMD sued Kare and owner Jason Keeran for runs made to the prisons between August 2011 and April 2013. The local service rushed to the scene when Kare allegedly failed to respond.
Kare’s 2011 contract with the Ohio DRC mandated the company to contact Madison County EMD when it could not respond to emergency calls from the prisons. In turn, Kare was required to reimburse the local squad for the cost of those runs.
That happened 20 times at LoCI between August 2011 and April 2013 and 10 times at MaCI between September 2011 and April 2013, resulting in a total of $24,832 in bills to Kare, according to court documents.
But the private service failed to pay up, prosecutor Steve Pronai said. As the county prosecutor, Pronai represents the county-supported emergency squad.
Kare didn’t file an answer to the lawsuit. No company representative appeared at a November debtor’s hearing in the local common pleas court. As a result, the county can seize Kare’s assets, including its ambulance units, Pronai said.
The owner of the company was contacted repeatedly for comment. He did return calls.
Kare’s tenure in London was rocky from the start.
The service was already transporting inmates at the Ohio Reformatory for Women in Marysville when it won the state contract for MaCI and LoCI in July 2011. Madison County EMD did not bid on that contract, published reports said.
Three months after Kare staff and vehicles moved into 202 Park Ave., in London, thieves broke into an unlocked ambulance unit parked outside the building and took $23,265 in equipment.
Days later, a Kare employee discovered remnants of a fire bomb in the same parking area. The Ohio Fire Marshal’s Office investigated the attempted fire bombing, but no charges resulted.
“It is still an open, ongoing investigation,” Michael Duchesne of the fire marshal’s office said Friday. “Obviously, we know it was a deliberately set fire. We are still seeking information from the public.”
Duchesne asked that anyone with knowledge of this incident call the Fire and Explosion Investigation Bureau at 1-800-589-2728.
Ohio DRC awarded a contract to Madison County EMD to serve the two local prisons on Nov. 1. That contract will run through June 2014, according to Ricky Seyfang, agency spokesperson.