RIPLEY - EMS Director Steve McClure was caught off guard when a local non-emergency ambulance service pulled out of Jackson County. McClure stated that he received no warning from the company about their intentions to leave.
Said the director, “At midnight on Friday, December 6, Life Ambulance shut their doors. Life Ambulance was providing a lot of non-emergency transports in this county. They did dialysis runs and things like that. It was a three-state operation and about 2,000 people lost their jobs. There was no explanation as to why they shut their doors, but it really put everybody in a jam. We had to activate a couple of extra crews to make sure our county dialysis patients were taken care of.”
McClure stated that Jan-Care Ambulances moved a couple of rigs up into this area and have made themselves available.
“It was a little hairy for a few days. Life didn’t even notify the nursing homes,” Said McClure, “Jan-Care contracted out with at least two of the nursing homes for non-emergency calls such as doctor visits that Life was doing. We’re in pretty good shape right now. We got a call on Saturday morning and that was the same day that we lost Charlie. It was a mess for a few hours, but we got it straightened up.
According to McClure, Jan Ambulance Services is based in Beckley, WV and have sub-stations in Green Brier, Lewis County and Monongalia County. They are the biggest ambulance company in the state of West Virginia.
McClure said, “They are interviewing some of the people from Life for jobs and they are going to expand their operation. The biggest problem is that the dialyses patients. The ones that scheduled with Life coming to their home, we don’t even know who these people are. We can’t identify them because we can’t get a hold of Life. With Jan-Care if you are ambulatory you have to find another way of transport. They work with people who are bedfast and that is in the perimeter of Medicare. Most of the nursing homes have wheel chair vans and they are doing that as far as putting us in a jam, we are out of it now. We are in pretty good shape and are keeping our eyes on it.”