Saving lives is a way of life for paramedics.
“It's what you do. It's who you are. It's not really a job, it's who you are,” said Keli Biddle.
Biddle and her husband are both paramedics in Nicholas County. They were afraid they were going to lose their jobs just before the holidays.
Friday, FirstMed EMS, the parent company for MediCorp which runs ambulance services in Nicholas County, filed bankruptcy and would be closing many of its locations.
Being the only provider of ambulance services in Nicholas County, MediCorp wasn’t going to close that site. But Monday, county officials where told all sites would be closing.
“We were optimistic that they would stay open and keep our ambulance service running but I think at the same time being realistic, we realized in a bankruptcy that this could happen as quick as it did and we started immediately preparing Monday morning for this to happen,” said Mike Pryor, Nicholas County Judge-Executive.
The county owns the ambulances and the EMS building. It contributes $100,000 each year to supplement ambulance services. The county needed a management company to put the ambulances out on the road.
Pryor says several companies have offered their temporary services and ambulances in Nicolas County will be running.
“There won’t be anybody that will be without service,” said Pryor. “It will absolutely no different that it was yesterday or the day before or a year ago. We’re going to have a fully staffed ambulance service on call 24-hours a day.”
“It’s a band-aid fix right now but we know we’re going to have to have a long-term fix for the problem,” said Biddle.
This plan is set to last 30 days and Pryor expects bids well before that time runs out.
Pryor says he won’t just go with the cheapest bid for services; he wants to find a company that will be there for the community for years to come so this doesn’t happen again.