Bertie County is under a state of emergency after learning that the company that provides its emergency medical services is declaring bankruptcy.

According to County Manager Scott Sauer, FirstMed EMS began providing emergency services to Bertie County on Oct. 1, 2013. The company provided 40 positions, both full and part-time, to staff ambulances around Bertie County.

But Monday morning, county officials learned that FirstMed is declaring bankruptcy, said Sauer.

The state of emergency declaration allows Bertie County to temporarily keep the FirstMed employees working, in order to continue providing emergency services to the county for now, Sauer said.

The county's contract with FirstMed was supposed to last five years.

FirstMed was operating in seven states. They were founded in 1988 and conducted over 500,000 transports annually.