WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Employees of an ambulance transport company that abruptly closed over the weekend were lined up at the unemployment office in Wilmington Monday.
Former employees say First Med employed about 50 people in the Wilmington area and more than 2,000 nationwide.
Workers say they were given no advance notice and found out over Facebook this weekend the company was closing. They also found out they may not get their last paycheck.
"I just have me to worry about," said Stacey Carpenter. "A lot of my coworkers have children, and they are the sole providers for their children, and I'm worried about them. And I'm worried about all the patients that we serviced. You know, the ones who have to get to dialysis. It's a life-saving treatment. What are they going to do?"
It could be a week or two before unemployment benefits kick in. Many workers wonder how they will make rent or afford Christmas.
Officials from New Hanover Regional Medical Center say they operate both emergency and non-emergency transport services in New Hanover County and are prepared to handle any increase in volume due to the closing of First Med.
The hospital has also contacted nursing homes and dialysis centers in the county to offer assistance with transports.
We were unable to reach First Med company managers Monday for comment on what prompted the closing.
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