Russell Ferrell started Trans-Care independently, from the ground in 1992. It began as a one-van operation in wheelchair transport with Russ behind the wheel. Always a visionary in technological advances that would ensure the best use of time in those precious moments, Russ had a cell phone in a time when they were cutting edge technology so that he could be as efficient as possible in transporting patients. Fast forward to today, where Russ operates a fleet of 75 units with a team of 20 trained customer service professionals dispatching units using GPS and internet call technology. From one man to over 200 employees, Trans-Care still holds the family values that served as the foundation for this company over 25 years ago.
Operating under the slogan, “It’s About People,” Trans-Care takes pride in its customer service, maintaining they provide the highest level of care utilizing some of the most advanced technology and equipment encompassed with some of the most innovative protocols in the ambulance industry.
Ferrell is able to offer some of the highest wages in the state because of his efficiency in the operation of his business. Trans-Care is not only an ambulance service, it has a full-service mechanics’ bay where everything from fabrication of ambulances to repair to routine maintenance takes place. TCI Service Center not only saves Ferrell money on vehicles but also has become a profit for him by serving as a mechanic service to other companies with fleet vehicles including FedEx contractors, Aramark Uniforms, Local Maintenance Companies, Ceres Solutions and more.
Recently, Trans-Care assumed operations over the Veterans Affairs hospital in Indianapolis, which previously contracted with about 20 ambulance services. Now, Trans-Care manages it all, saving VA nearly $2 million per year with the highest efficiencies ever seen.
Rounding out the family business are Russell’s two sons, Nicholas and Justin, both Indiana State University graduates with bachelor’s degrees in finance.
Justin fondly remembers growing up in the business. “As a kid, I always wanted to be with Dad at work. I have an unlimited amount of memories. I can remember clear back to the beginning, and it’s helped shape me into the businessman I am today.”
Nick states, “When I was a teenager, I would cut the grass, file paperwork, be present during some meetings, and get familiarized with the business structure. I distinctly remember when there were less than 10 employees working for Trans-Care. My dad has taught me that to be successful, you have to be able to take care of others: your community, your direct employees, your family.”
Nick Ferrell serves as General Manager of the Indianapolis location, while Justin Ferrell operates out of Terre Haute as the General Manager with primary responsibilities of overseeing day-to-day operations, utilization, and TCI Service Center.
“Working with family is easy for me because we can hold each other accountable and push the vision of the company with three different people,” states Justin. “This is much easier than trusting someone that doesn’t have stake in the company.”
“Working with my dad and brother makes it possible for us to be direct with one another when we need to develop solutions,” agrees Nick. “We might not always agree, but I think being family lets us be more direct with each other, which gets a quicker solution. We know that, at the end of everything, we are still family. We all have the same end goal. Growing a local-owned business. Giving back to the community. Knowing that we are improving the quality of medical transportation.”
For this family, the future of Trans-Care means building a bigger, better, and stronger medical transportation company – to educate communities about medical transportation and how a well-run medical transportation company can positively affect outcomes through medical attention or being able to safely get a patient from one location to the next.
“Trans-Care is my life,” says Justin. “My dad has been molding me for 28 years and has put me in position to run the companies at such a young age. I was a born businessman, and it just what I love to do.”
Each day, Trans-Care serves an estimated 20 counties across the state of Indiana. It has a base of operations in Terre Haute, Indianapolis, Columbus, and Vincennes, Indiana, and is currently investigating two other markets to set up stations.