LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – Union heads at General Electric’s Appliance Park are pledging full cooperation as investigators work to find out what led to the death of a longtime employee.

West Buechel EMS received a call Friday just after 12:30 p.m. to respond to Steve Herring stuck in a machine.

Family and friends said Herring was extremely loved by many.

Since the incident, some have claimed that EMS wasn’t able to get to Herring in a timely manner and that refrigerators blocked the way.

Union president Dino Driskell and Jefferson County Fire spokesman Jordan Yuodis were adamant that was not the case.

“I personally met the fire department at the side door and escorted them in. There were a few obstacles but nothing like I've been hearing," Driskell said.

Yuodis said, “Most of that stuff is just normal operation. They're in the refrigerator and dishwasher business so of course there's going to be those types of things in the way."

Youdis said it may seem to an outsider that time was wasted but the response followed strict protocol.

Steve Herring
Steve Herring
Family of Steve Herring

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"There's barriers along the side of the walkway there and that's normal. Any time we go through for any type of medical emergency, those items are stationary, and they're not built for 12 firefighters or a stretcher to be back there and that's understandable so were used to operating in these circumstances when we respond to GE."

It's something he said EMS goes through a few times a month at GE but said this case was not the norm.

"We don't respond to incidents like this on a regular basis at GE," Yuodis said.

Driskell said its protocol for GE employees to call the company's security department before 911 for logistical purposes but couldn't say if that was the case for Herring on Friday.

GE employees in the building at the time say there were employees trying to help Herring when he was stuck in the machine.

There's no official cause of death.

Both LMPD and OSHA are investigating.

 ►Contact reporter Tyler Emery at temery@WHAS11.com. Follow her on Twitter (@TylerWHAS11) and Facebook.