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Aug 2, 2013 1:58 AM by Erika Flores

Rural/Metro fighting bankruptcy, residents hopeful services will remain unchanged

TUCSON-The emergency response company Rural/Metro is fighting to avoid bankruptcy.

The company took on debt in a 2011 buyout.

On July 15, the company decided not to make an interest payment.

Now they have two weeks to make the payment or face bankruptcy.

Rural/Metro services much of unincorporated Tucson.

85-year-old Bob Swanson said he can't imagine life without his wife Judy.

"I can't get a new wife. Not like that one," he said.

But he said five years ago, they had a close call.


"Call 9-1-1. Get her to the hospital. They came out almost immediately. Less than five minutes. Two to three minutes to the front door," said Swanson.

He thanks Rural/Metro for their quick response.

"If they would've waited a few more hours, she may not have made it," said Swanson.

He hopes the emergency transportation provider remains unaffected no matter what happens two weeks from now.

Captain Grant Cesarek from Rural/Metro Fire department said emergency services remain unaffected.

"They can come and rest assured that we are going to be there if they need us," said Cesarek.

But he said he can't say for certain what will happen two weeks from now.

"I'd be really speculating as to what's going to take place," said Cesarek.

A company spokesperson sent this statement:

"Rural/Metro continues to take action to align our operations and capital structure with the realities of our business. As part of these initiatives, our Board and management team recently elected not to make the interest payment due on July 15 for our unsecured bonds due in 2019. While we will continue to keep our senior lenders informed, as appropriate, the Company will not comment further regarding this matter at this time. From an operational perspective, it is business as usual at Rural/Metro. We remain committed, as always, to providing life-saving services to our customers and communities."

Swanson said he has high hopes the emergency services will continue to be unaffected whether the company defaults or not.
A COMPANY SPOKESMAN SENT US A STATEMENT THAT READS IN PART--

"Rural/Metro continues to take action to align our operations and capital structure with the realities of our business...We remain committed, as always, to providing life-saving services to our customers and communities."

"Somebody will come in get it reorganized, refunded and it will be off and running," said Swanson.

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