A private ambulance service that transported more than a half-million patients a year in six states abruptly shut down without explanation, leaving dozens of cities and towns scrambling for medical transportation options Monday without a word of warning.
First Med EMS, based in Wilmington, N.C., served hospitals and other medical facilities in more than 70 municipalities in Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia. It operated under the names TransMed, Life Ambulance and MedCorp, boasting in publicity materials: "We take pride in our performance and the safety of our patients. We refuse to compromise on this."
First Med's website was inaccessible Monday, and calls to corporate offices either reached disconnected lines or weren't answered. Company workers said in Facebook posts and tweets that they were told the corporation had declared bankruptcy, but no bankruptcy documents were yet on file Monday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina.
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