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Ohio EMS Provider Goes Belly-Up – Updated

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Not Yet Known How Widespread The Shutdown Reaches

UPDATE, 5:30 PM – The shutdown is apparently systemwide.  Scroll down for the update.

SEVERAL HUNDRED, AND PERHAPS as many as 4,000 EMS employees in Ohio are being given pink slips this weekend as MedCorp Emergency Services has begun shutting down offices and services through the state.

MedCorp and one of their subsidiaries Life Ambulance abruptly called their respective dispatch centers Friday and notified them that they would cease answering emergency calls effective immediately.  Then their employees were called to work for a meeting where they were all dismissed after being told that the firms were "out of money" and were now shut down, out of business as of 8 pm Friday.

 medcorps amb a

MedCorp had filed for bankruptcy back in 2011 and apparently never came out of it.  Altogether they operated from more than 20 bases not just in small towns, but also in Toledo and Columbus.  The Toledo office alone had about 245 employees.

There are unconfirmed reports that employees in Columbus and several other smaller units have been dismissed as well.  Reliable reports and numbers from the company are scarce and news agencies are unable to verify most claims during the weekend.  Nobody is answering their phones.

MedCorp is a wholly-owned unit of FirstMed EMS based in Wilmington, North Carolina, with 70 offices in six states.  Some of their units operate emergency services, but most of them are primarily transport service.  Currently their website is also out of service leading to speculation that the entire umbrella organization is in extreme difficulty.

 firstmed sitedown

Firegeezer will attempt to update this unfolding story as more information gets disclosed.

Update, 5:30 pm: We are getting reports and comments on both this site and our Facebook posting from employees and observers in several states that their local FirstMed offices have all closed abruptly this weekend.  So it appears that the entire company has folded.

Check Firegeezer.com on Monday for any further updates.

Current sources:
Toledo Blade newspaper:  http://www.toledoblade.com/Medical/2013/12/08/Ambulance-company-MedCorp-shuts-down.html

WECT-TV:  http://www.wect.com/story/24161192/medcorp-ems

Fayette Advocate newspaper:  http://fayetteadvocate.com/archives/15686/2013/12/07/life-ems-relieves-employees-files-for-bankruptcy/

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Comments - Add Yours

  • Kenneth Wheeler

    The entire company(first med)has shut down. Including stations in WV.

    • firegeezer

      Thanks, Kenneth.  I am curious as to why they don’t say something to that effect on their website?  Instead, they are looking like a fly-by-night outfit claiming that it’s “down for maintenance” …. an obviously false statement.

      Bill S.

  • Robert Hess

    Also their South Carolina operation was shut down.

  • paramedic70002

    They just signed a $310,000 subsidy contract with Bertie County NC EMS beginning Oct. 1 to replace their volunteer system. Oops.

  • Steven

    All cincinati Stations an NKY stations are also closed. We got a Phone call around 8 telling us about it.

  • Betsy Sweitzer

    I haven’t worked there since 2007…but I loved it there. Such a shame!

  • Ashley

    chapter 7 has been filed for the entire company. 

  • Darwin

    I worked for this company when i lived in Lima Ohio. Not surprising they went under, but understandable. Shame tht EMS workers and companies are not better protected for the wor they do

  • EMT1999

    There was no meeting. No nothing. 

    Not even phone calls to the crews scheduled to work Saturday. People came in to locked doors. 

  • Werner R. Ennesser

    The Sterling, VA office is closed as well, I came in on Saturday morning after my shift at the firehouse and my boss stopped me and broke the news to me. Everyone was supposed to find out Friday but we did'nt get the notice to Saturday as one of the hire ups to the CEO had an MI from getting the news so thats why we did'nt get the notice. A lot of good EMT's in VA are out of a job without warning, Hoping my fellow brothers and sisters can get picked back up somewhere. 

  • Marcus N Morgan

    I just want to work for my family. I worked at first med hampton va for 3 years. I loved my job and what I did to help thos in need. I was good at what I did and I know someone out there needs a good hardworking employee who gives his all in everything he does.

  • Bryon

    I am a former Medcorp (first med) employee. I have been told that Medcorp shut down all stations in Ohio as of 6 PM Friday. No employees were warned. There was some sort of company meeting a week before and nothing was said to anyone. I think it’s absolutely horrible to do this to employees a couple weeks before Christmas!

  • NcMedic

    I just got off a 12 hr shift with First Med in NC…so did i just work for nothing?..nobody at my station knows whats going on..this is crazy..

  • unemployed

    Its pretty bad to find out on Facebook that the company you work for had filed bankruptcy and you no longer had a job. Not even a phone call letting you know. That company never did care about their employees.

  • Nervous, but Still Employed

    As of right now, as far as any of us knows (our director included) the Bertie EMS division is staying open. We have a contract with the county for 5 years of service as the sole emergency provider for Bertie County. Not sure of what the future may hold, but as of now, everyone I have talked to tells me that our jobs are secure, that we are staying open.

  • Steve

    Here's some info from a Facebook post on what happened 

    Dan, I did my research too on this.  What you state is what I have found to be true also. The funny thing is that Andrew Paul and Samarth Chandra are on the board for EEF and on FirstMed.  They are the backers with the millions of dollars to invest.  They also hired in Brian Gibson who formally worked for Rural/Metro the same month that they went bankrupt back in July/August 2013. Enhanced Equity Fund II is backed by Eaton Vance a management investment firm. EEF seek to have their investment monies returned 3-5 years on businesses that they put the money up for.  I have the feeling that FirstMed gave the one helluva sales pitch, took the money to gain the monopoly (at times we called it the Walmart of the Privates. lol) and somewhere they failed either by not making enough money to pay back the investment or the EEF saw that things weren't going so well and backed out losing their money. If they lose their money then FirstMed won't have the continued cash flow to keep the business afloat hence closing the doors immediately.

  • Kristen

    First Med Employees- It is unbelievable how this all went down and as EMS brothers and sisters, we are saddened that you found out in one night that you no longer had a job, especially during the holiday season. I am a GM at E.M.T. Inc. We have multiple stations- Eaton, Dayton, Middletown and Cincinnati and we have immediate openings for EMT's, Medics and Van Drivers. We are also looking to expand our Cincinnati operations, so very soon we will have 2 stations in the Cincinnati area. If you are in need of a job, please, please feel free to contact me immediately for an application and interview. I can be reached at 937-456-2642 Extension 302. Please call me right away if you are looking for employment. Kristen Taylor, GM, EMT-Inc.

  • DAVE

    SO who is covering for emergency services in the areas affected?

  • Jason Slagle

    To the Virginia based First-Med employees, Lifestar Ambulance is accepting applications at multiple offices for several positions. Please feel free to apply or call us at 1-877-584-3315 for more info. 

  • http://Www.friendlyems.com Josh

    Friendly EMS in Columbus is accepting applications from former MedCorp employees.

  • Disturbed about this.

    I have news for the Bertie County Employees. Chapter 7 is Chapter 7.
    You'll be out of work by Thursday of this week.

    Start with Andrew Paul and Samarth Chandra when you all want to be angry.

  • Web Stalker

    Steve quoted what I found out about where the money came from for FirstMed to get on the road by purchasing other private ambulance companies.  I remember joking with my dearly departed significant other that FirstMed would become the "Walmart of the privates". lol

    However,  I strongly believe that Enhanced Equity Fund pulled out when they realized that they weren't getting their investment back in due time. I am hearing that fully stocked trucks are being sent out of state. The boxes will be removed from the old chassis and placed on new ones.  So, FirstMed knew ahead of time this was happening as well as the buyer of the trucks. I know what state they are going but not able to confirm to what business. Luiqify the assets before sinking the ship?

  • Steve

    Good Job on that Webstalker! I had to quaote that info from the other pot because it was dead on. Good Luck to all those affected. 

  • Curious

    Web Stalker, just curious if you could share what state these trucks are going to? 

  • formerfmems

    The company closed down all operations in VA, NC, SC, OH, WV, Ky without notice last Friday, Dec 6. According to some employees who were contacted, the company cited bankruptcy as the reason. However, as of Monday afternoon, no such bankruptcy was recorded. 

    This mess came about after Enhanced Equity, a group of private equity investors hired a firm to conduct due diligence on proposed OH acquisitions which the company later completed. The firm mis-judged the per run costs and revenue by a long shot. Original First Med founders discovered the miscalculation when real data was available the following year and created a workable plan to fix the mess created by the (lack) of due diligence. Shortly thereafter,  Enhanced Equity chose to hire Bryan Gibson as CEO and dismissed the original founders. Trace Gibson's history on Linked-In, etc… and the story speaks for itself while the original founders have a great record for both patient and employee care.

    The question that should be investigated is: Do current executives stand to benefit from this bankruptcy personally for the CEO’s own company in Al at the expense of all loyal First Med EMS employees, patients and customers?

     

  • Richard

    This has to be nation wide. “First Med” an ambulance company that operates out of the Hampton Roads area and the eastern shore has also closed it’s doors.
    http://www.wvec.com/news/First-Med-EMS-shuts-down-leaving-hundreds-unemployed-two-weeks-before-Christmas-234976901.html

  • j. w. davis

    First Med in Bertie County is down as well. Bertie County declared has declared Emergency Order and has a management team addressing our 911 services. The county has taken over for now and services are still being provided

  • Jim37015

    Whoever comes in and takes over the services it will be done quickly. The employees that got left holding the bag are good assets to the area. They are already trained and are familiar with cities and facilities so they'll have a good chance of gaining employment soon. Just hang in there. I worked EMS for a good many years and good trained people have no problem finding a job, especially in EMS and if you know the area then you have a very good odds of falling right back into routine just with another company.