Ambulance transportation company cutting operations in three hometowns

Published: Feb. 2, 2023 at 5:14 PM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) -LifeCare Medical Transports announced it’s cutting back operations in Danville, Martinsville, and Roanoke.

“And it’s just it’s just not right,” said Robert Shelton.

Shelton started working for LifeCare Medical Transports in 2018. Wednesday, he found out it was his last day.

“And so it was kind of like they came in and said, hey, we’re shutting down and tonight’s your last day,” explained Shelton.

In a statement to WDBJ7, the company said it decided “this week to scale back non-emergency ambulance operation in Danville, Martinsville, and Roanoke.”

Employees with the company said they will have one ambulance in each location until March 1 and are closing for good after that.

Robert said last year the company stopped providing transportation to Medicaid and dialysis patients, and doctor appointments. He said that is where the majority of their customers came from.

“You have five trucks sitting at the station doing nothing. And there are two calls on the board. So, then they started sending people home,” added Shelton. “Or saying, hey, we don’t have enough calls for full-time; would you want to go part-time?”

The company said “the rising operating cost and decreasing demand for services” led to the decision.

But employees like Shelton say that’s not the case.

“There are people that need it all the time. If anything, it’s going up,” said Shelton.

The company said it has given approximately 35 employees an opportunity to transfer.

Shelton said they would’ve appreciated the company telling them sooner.

“Hey, 3 months we’re kind of thinking about shutting down. Well, that’s respectful because you’re giving us 3 months to get our life in order or get something lined up,” said Shelton.

LifeCare Medical Transports Full Statement:

“This week, LifeCare Medical Transports scaled back non-emergency ambulance operations in Danville, Martinsville, and Roanoke as a result of rising operating costs and decreasing demand for services in these areas. LifeCare operations elsewhere in the state were not impacted, and the company remains committed to serving its customers and patients.

Economic pressures beyond our control have significantly impacted our business. Since the COVID pandemic began nearly three years ago, the ambulance industry has experienced a significant surge in the costs to provide services. We never take these decisions lightly. This was a very difficult decision and came after significant fiscal analysis at all levels of our company.

Approximately 35 drivers, EMTs, and paramedics who previously served these areas have been offered opportunities to transfer to open positions within the company.”