Ambulance service working around gaping hole in building after storm


by Chelsea Rabideau

Posted on July 19, 2013 at 11:46 PM

Updated Saturday, Jul 20 at 12:01 AM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – There’s still a gaping hole in the wall of Rural Metro Ambulance Operations offices. That’s where ambulances are dispatched from. But, crews there are not letting a missing wall get in the way of their lifesaving work.

Every day, Lisa Smith sends ambulances out to people dealing with emergencies; until last Wednesday, when the emergency came to her.

“It was different,” she said. “It was definitely a new situation for me.”

A severe thunderstorm swept through Kentuckiana. The crushing wind knocked down part of a wall at the office. Twelve people were inside the building at the time, though no one was hurt. Outside, however, a car was smashed.

A little more than a week later there was another storm, not as severe, but quick and powerful.

“We all got flashbacks. Yeah, no doubt, we got flashbacks when we heard the storm,” Smith recalled.

The wall is still missing and the smashed car sits outside, but that’s not stopping crews from getting the job done.

“Things are getting a lot better, everybody’s really come together as a team,” Smith said. The damage knocked out their computer system, forcing them to do everything by hand. “We are used to relying upon the computers 100 percent,” Smith explained. “Now, we’re having to use the dry erase board to track the trucks.”

Smith’s job is to deal with the unexpected on a daily basis. Still, she says a wall in her office collapsing caught her off guard. But, she won’t let that happen again.

“I will say, now that I’ve been through it, if it happens again, I think we’ll all be pretty prepared for it.”

The fire marshal and inspectors have been out to look at the damage. Although, Smith says the timeline for the repair hasn’t been set yet. They’ve got someone from the corporate offices working on installing a new computer system right now.