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Virginia ambulance company declares bankruptcy

There is never a perfect time to declare business bankruptcy, but the process can affect some industries more acutely than others. This is particularly true of emergency services businesses, which may be difficult to replace. One Washington D.C.-area ambulance company has declared business bankruptcy just days before Christmas, leaving 20 employees in eastern Virginia suddenly without work. The ambulance service, Eastern Shore Ambulance, was closed as part of a larger business bankruptcy declared by First Med EMS, a North Carolina-based firm.

The announcement was made on Dec. 7, when employees arrived for work and transported their patients to dialysis appointments as planned. Even though the workers were not paid to transport the patients back, they all agreed that they would continue with their duties through the end of the day. Employees have not received their last paycheck, which was due on Dec. 13.

News reports show that First Med EMS filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on Dec. 11. Now, the company is facing additional problems because it may have violated federal regulations by failing to provide adequate notice to its thousands of nationwide workers. Some Midwestern workers are seeking compensation in a civil suit because they were not told about the layoffs 60 days in advance, as required by federal mandate.

Although only about 10 regular patients have been affected by the ambulance service's closure in eastern Virginia, First Med's bankruptcy is sure to have an impact throughout other areas of the nation. Dialysis providers throughout the region say that they have already made accommodations for these patients through a nearby Norfolk-based company.

First Med has filed for Chapter 7 business bankruptcy, which means that its assets will be liquidated and the company will close. This contrasts with other business bankruptcy options, which may allow companies to simply restructure their debts and continue operation. Business owners who want to learn more about the right bankruptcy options for their situation might benefit from contacting a qualified bankruptcy attorney.

Source:  delmarvanow.com, "VA SHORE: After sudden closure of ambulance service, 20 laid-off employees seek answers" Carol Vaughn, Dec. 15, 2013

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