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When Oldham County EMS veteran EJ Mike fell on the stairs at the Crestwood substation nearly six weeks ago, he continued to work because he “enjoys helping people.”
Besides, he said, he helped start OCEMS more than 20 years ago as one of three founders.
Now, though, Mike has to take time off. Despite physical therapy three times a week since the incident, the injuries to his hand and wrist haven’t healed.
The next step is an MRI scan to assess the severity of the injury, which Mike said includes a bone chip and a separation of his wrist joint. His injury may require surgery.
“There’s no light duty in EMS,” he said. Unable to carry patients, Mike is now off work until doctors say otherwise.
Mike’s injury was one of two at the new South station, which opened earlier this year after plans for a brand-new facility were scrapped.
Instead, a building on Old La Grange Road was purchased and renovated. However, a state fire marshal’s report on Sept. 7 found no agency has inspected the building before then.
The fire marshal identified violations with all the station’s staircases, which have been the cause of at least one other fall in addition to Mike’s. Several other issues were also identified in the report.
Since the inspection, the station’s second floor has been closed.
Judge-Executive David Voegele, who is also handling external communication for OCEMS, said repairs will begin soon.
“Assistance with necessary paperwork regarding the needed changes is coming this week from Frankfort,” he said. Once that is complete, work will begin and take about three days, Voegele said.
Voegele has been acting as OCEMS spokesman since Todd Early and Keith Smith were appointed to co-manage EMS under the guidance of Jim Carman.