DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) - Decatur EMS Inc., better known as DEMSI, one of two ambulance services operating in Decatur, filed for bankruptcy Tuesday. In three separate filings, DEMSI, Gadsden/Etowah EMS, and Dr. Roger Stanmore, who owns both companies, all filed for bankruptcy.
The move comes just four days after a DEMSI spokesperson told the Decatur EMS Committee that the company's financial problems had been resolved and pleaded for their city license to not be revoked. The committee voted 3 to 2 to revoke the company's certificate to operate, sending the matter to the Decatur City Council for a final decision. The council is scheduled to take up the matter next week.
DEMSI employees walked off the job Feb. 7 citing late and bounced paychecks. Several DEMSI employees, along with employees of Gadsden/Etowah EMS have contacted WHNT News 19 in recent months requesting coverage of the ongoing problem.
Gadsden/Etowah EMS employees also walked off the job on February 21 citing late paychecks.
DEMSI spokesperson Tessa Green, responding to allegations the company was in violation of the city's ambulance ordinance regarding the number of vehicles and crew available for emergency calls and the time their ambulances took to respond to calls, told members of the Decatur EMS Committee last week the company has had some financial problems. She said company officials overlooked the renewal of an agreement with Medicaid, which she described as the company's primary source of revenue. Green told committee members the Medicaid agreement is now in place.
When contacted late Wednesday afternoon, Morgan County 911 Director Ryan Welty told WHNT News 19 DEMSI has been in violation of the city's ambulance ordinance since Feb. 7. Welty says DEMSI currently has one ambulance in operation.
Officials with Decatur's other ambulance service, First Response, say they have added extra vehicles and crews in order to meet the city's need. David Childers says his company has also hired several former DEMSI employees saying, "These are good people who were simply caught in a bad situation."