State’s largest private ambulance service closing

DURHAM, N.C. -- Johnston Ambulance Service, the state's largest private ambulance service is closing at the end of Wednesday, putting around 400 full and part-time employees out of a job.

"We do a lot of transports, across the state and Virginia," said one employee from the Triad who did not want to be identified. "There are many people who don't know what they will do next, some have weddings coming up."

The private ambulance service, based in eastern North Carolina, serves thousands of patients across the state with non-emergency transportation for treatments like dialysis and wound care -- including right here in the Triad.

The owner Maynard Price told WRAL-TV that continuing health care regulations and paperwork from the last few years piled up so high that the company could no longer collect money to pay the bills including workers compensation due to the state next month.

"It is devastating. It will be devastating to the employees, but it also will be devastating to the state,” said Price. "When you take the number of trips that we run out of each day -- it is going to be a huge, huge problem."

Employees feel with federal rules in place, requiring a 60 day notice in some cases, the company should have given more than just a 24 hour notice.

"I was laid off before," said the employee. "Before I was given a notice ahead of time and I was also give a severance package to stay on my feet."