Money Watchers: DLT offers help to ambulance workers

The state said Monday that it is stepping in to help employees of a Providence ambulance company that suddenly went out of business.

The closure of Universal Ambulance Service Inc. left 95 people out of work.

The company told its workers just days ago that it was shutting down.

"Nobody had any clue of why," former ambulance driver Hank Latek said.

The company was put into receivership after the death of its owner.

The state Department of Labor and Training is reacting.

"Our goal is to try get them back into the workforce as quickly as possible," DLT Director Charles Fogarty said.

The state is setting up a re-employment assistance center. Workers will find counselors and trainers to help out.

Fogarty said the services are free of charge for the ambulance company's employees.

"The sooner you do that, the more likely you're going to be to get gainfully re-employed," Fogarty said. "Our counselors can help identify the skills you have already and what are some of the occupations that have jobs that you might be eligible for."

Fogarty said there are four One-Stop Centers in the state to start the process, but there will be a special session for the Universal Ambulance workers, either at their company, or, more likely, at the DLT headquarters on Tuesday.

Universal Ambulance workers can call 888-616-5627 for information.

NBC 10 is trying to find out why the company went under. In other states, ambulance companies have suffered because of reduced reimbursements from Medicare.

Many state officials were unavailable to comment Monday because of the Veterans Day holiday.