Wednesday, December 11, 2013
It was news no one wants to hear anytime of year, but especially less than three weeks before Christmas. But hundreds of employees of FirstMed EMS, parent company of TransMed were shocked when they arrived at work Saturday and found out they no longer had jobs.
FirstMed EMS, headquartered in Wilmington operated from 70 offices in 6 states with over 650 vehicles, according to its website.
The Georgetown Times sought answers from the company Monday about the unexpected shut down but was told by a representative the company “has no comment at this time.”
One worker who was laid off said there were about 100 TransMed workers in total in Georgetown,Murrells Inlet and Conway.
Dispatchers were notified by company management about the immediate closure at about 4:30 a.m. Saturday, said the worker who asked to remain anonymous because he has not yet received his final paycheck.
He said he received a call from a co-worker letting him know they no longer had jobs. He said he called his supervisor to ask what happened.
“He said he cannot say,” the man told the Georgetown Times.
He said everyone knew there had been some budget cuts in recent months but no one expected a shut down.
“We knew they were cutting costs. Some trucks were not getting repaired,” he said.
The task of TransMed was to help transport less critical patients than is typically cared for by EMS.
“We are certified just like them,” the worker said. “We had many of the same responsibilities.”
Most days, TransMed was operating 10-12 ambulances in Georgetown, Murrells Inlet and Conway.
He said not only is the news bad for the employees, but it is also a loss for the City of Georgetown and county.
“They are losing a lot of revenue because we shopped in Georgetown. Bought our meals in Georgetown. Bought our gas here. It adds up to a lot of money,” he said.