Rural/Metro files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

Ambulance and fire protection services provider Rural/Metro Corp. says that it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization, after reaching a deal with its lenders to cut its debt by about half.

Rural Metro Ambulance (Source: Kyle Grainger, WVLT)

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee (WVLT) — The largest emergency service provider in east Tennessee has filed chapter 11 bankruptcy. Rural/Metro Corp provides ambulance, fire, and other emergency services for Knox and surround counties. The company says services will still be provided and not be compromised while in bankruptcy. According to court filings, the company says it failed to make an interest payment in July

Rural/Metro Corp is a privately owned company out of Scottsdale, Arizona. They employ more than eight hundred locally. They operate by collecting annual membership fees from customers in order to provide fire service. If you need fire service and are not a member, you will be billed if they have to come out, and that could cost you thousands of dollars.

Knox county mayor Tim Burchett says, “Their contract with Knox county contains provisions in the event that they are unable to fulfill their obligations. If their obligations are not met, Knox county will take appropriate action. In the meantime, my staff and i will continue to monitor rural/metro's financial situation."

The company says it filed chapter 11 to restructure their debt and plan to emerge from bankruptcy by the end of the year.

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