Although A & E Emergency Services LLC has been vying to get municipal ambulance service contracts while current provider Rural/Metro Corp. has struggled monetarily, Rural/Metro says it has completed a financial restructuring and is here to stay in Franklin County.
Arizona-based Rural/Metro filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in August 2013, and eight employees left the company to find other jobs. Rural/Metro began its operations in Franklin County in 1996 and its services as the 911 operations first responder were approved in 2009.
In addition to being Franklin County’s contracted ambulance service provider, Rural/Metro has service agreements with cities, including Decherd.
Rural Metro had previously said it was optimistic the company would recover from its financial predicament and continue with regular ambulance service while continuing to cut debt and reorganize under a bankruptcy court’s supervision.
John Karolzak, Rural/Metro chief relations officer, said Wednesday Rural/Metro has taken the necessary steps to restructure its financing and has been doing well since it emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings as a reorganized company at the end of 2013.
“We’re meeting all our contract obligations, and things have gone really well during the past three months,” he said. “We’re looking for a bright future.”
Karolzak said the financial restructuring has left Rural/Metro with the headroom to grow and thrive.
“We’re very excited about the future,” he said.
Rural/Metro’s Plan of Reorganization was confirmed by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware on Dec. 17, 2013, the company said in a published statement.
Rural/Metro said it has met all conditions of the plan, and through its financial restructuring, has reduced its debt by about 50 percent.
Karolzak said that, in addition, the company’s bondholders are providing Rural/Metro with funding totaling $135 million to help position it for new growth.
Scott A. Bartos, Rural/Metro president and chief executive officer, summed up his thoughts on the company’s standing.
“As a stronger and more competitive company, we will continue to invest in infrastructure and technology and advance our commitment to providing state-of-the-art medical transportation and fire services,” he said. “I want to thank the Rural/Metro employees whose tireless efforts have been instrumental to our successful restructuring.
“I am excited to begin 2014 as the new and improved Rural/Metro.”