Ambulance Service to 500K People Abruptly Shutters
And hundreds are left without jobs
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Dec 10, 2013 10:08 AM CST
   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Residents in six states are scrambling for medical transportation after First Med EMS, a private ambulance service that served more than 500,000 patients a year, shut down with no warning Friday. The company was based in North Carolina and also served areas in Kentucky, Ohio (where it was the largest EMS service), South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia, NBC News reports. The incredibly abrupt shutdown left hundreds jobless, Virginia's WVEC reports; NBC says 1,500 are out of a job in Ohio alone. The company, which also used the names TransMed, Life Ambulance, and MedCorp, employed about 2,300.

Employees have some pretty crazy stories: finding out on Facebook they no longer had a job, being told to go home in the middle of a shift, showing up for work only to find the doors locked. At least one North Carolina county declared a state of emergency yesterday, but other officials say the impact won't be disastrous, since much of the transportation was for non-emergency care (like taking patients to their dialysis treatments). Even so, "people were scrambling to get to their appointments all weekend, plus early this week," says an ambulance service director. No official word from the company, but some workers are saying it declared bankruptcy. There was no record of that as of yesterday.

More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
Ambulance Service to 500K People Abruptly Shutters is...
11%
11%
11%
2%
54%
10%
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Comments
Showing 3 of 15 comments
ThinkStraightAmerica
Dec 15, 2013 3:58 PM CST
No more $1500 dollar rides to the hospital...
Gehime
Dec 12, 2013 8:48 PM CST
God bless the free market...
TwoSheds
Dec 11, 2013 7:12 AM CST
Sounds like a job for Mother, Jugs & Speed