EMS started in Ohio in November 2000 as a single-employee waste broker aiding environmental consulting firms and contractors with management of hazardous waste. EMS founder Jon Ransom began his career in the environmental industry as a sales representative with Ashland Chemical in 1991. Subsequent positions with environmental service companies in North Carolina added to his knowledge and experience. Family ties brought him back to Ohio in 2000.
Starting out of Jon’s basement, EMS overcame many early challenges typical of startups as the company developed an extensive network of transportation and disposal vendors to broker. In 2006, EMS recruited a core group of remediation professionals and began self-performing remediation projects from start to finish. Through 2009, EMS experienced steady growth expanding to 12 employees and one small warehouse. Throughout this time frame, EMS developed a solid company culture, a strong balance sheet, and a quality reputation in the industry, thereby establishing the foundation for future growth.
EMS hit its stride in the second half of 2009 and quickly accelerated both its pace of improvement and growth. At the center of this growth initiative were several Best of the Best (BOB) professionals who joined EMS and formed the nucleus of the EMS Leadership Team. From here, the Leadership Team launched an intense drive to grow EMS through continuous improvement and the development of people and processes. From 2009 to 2011, EMS became the #1 ranked remediation contractor in Ohio, and rated among the best remediation contractors in the region. At the same time, EMS began an initiative to diversify its capabilities to include emergency response, tank and utility services, and waste services.
In late 2011, remediation funding in Ohio came to an abrupt halt along with the majority of the remediation work across the state. With close to 80 percent of its business tied to remediation, EMS significantly increased the tempo of its push into services work. EMS also expanded its remediation reach into neighboring states and added strategic remediation capabilities, including gas and vapor barrier installation and wetland and stream restoration services. This diversification initiative led directly to the recruitment and development of BOB professionals at all levels of the company.
In 2013, EMS committed to developing a comprehensive Strategic Plan. This plan, which is updated annually, serves as a guiding document to maintain a sustainable competitive advantage. By investing in training, equipment, and facilities, EMS has solidified its reputation as a high-quality provider of environmental, industrial, and energy services across an expanding operating area. Transformative events included: designation as an Oil Spill Removal Organization (OSRO) by the U.S. Coast Guard; approval by multiple contractor screen consortiums; and execution of master service agreements with numerous Fortune 500 companies in the oil and gas, utility, transportation, and manufacturing industries.
Today, EMS has grown to more than 150 employees, with operation centers in Cleveland, Chattanooga, Chicago, Cincinnati, Columbus, Indianapolis, Steubenville, Toledo, and Zanesville. Far beyond its early days as a waste broker, EMS now provides full-service emergency spill response, oilfield services, environmental services, waste transportation, site remediation, and tank management services.