Fort Worth

JPS Hospital elevators inspected after employee is seriously injured

All elevators in John Peter Smith Hospital have been serviced by contractors after an employee was seriously injured on Sunday.
All elevators in John Peter Smith Hospital have been serviced by contractors after an employee was seriously injured on Sunday. Star-Telegram archives

All elevators in John Peter Smith Hospital have been serviced by contractors after an employee was seriously injured on Sunday, the hospital said.

The employee was injured on one of the purple Patient Tower elevators when it was stopped at the 10th floor, according to an email from CEO Robert Earley to employees Sunday afternoon. The hospital hasn’t said how the injury occurred. No one else was on the elevator at the time.

“We are looking into what happened and we are taking every step possible to keep everyone safe,” Earley wrote. “Contractors with the elevator company are onsite and we are contacting state inspectors.”

On Monday evening, Earley sent another email to employees updating them on the inspections.

The purple elevators, including the one that injured the employee, remain shut down. Visitors who need to access Tower 10 are asked to check in at Medical Urgent Care on the first floor of the main building, the email says.

All inspections of elevators in the main building were completed on Sunday, Earley wrote. The contractor was back at the hospital on Monday to repair two red elevators that had been out of service for the last week, he wrote.

According to a report from the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, JPS has 29 passenger elevators. The elevator in question was last serviced on April 4, according to the agency.

Earley also noted “inaccurate information” being spread to local media about what happened and told employees to direct any media inquiries to the communications department.

The hospital said on Twitter that officials are committed to “being as transparent and informative as possible”; however, questions asked by the Star-Telegram have gone unanswered. Those include: What happened, how the injury occurred, if the elevator had recently been taken out of operation for maintenance and who the contractor is for the elevators.

The newspaper also asked on Wednesday how many elevators are needed to keep the tower functional, and how many elevators are not in service.

A hospital spokesperson said, “There has been no interruption in patient care or the delivery of services to the Patient Care Tower during the time the three purple elevators have been out of service. As was mentioned in the CEO emails to team members, the green elevators (four of them) in the Patient Care Tower are operational.”

A JPS representative also said on Twitter that three minutes after police received the call, the employee was out of the elevator and CPR was underway.

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Nichole Manna is an investigative reporter for the Star-Telegram. Before moving to Fort Worth in July 2018, she covered crime and breaking news in Tennessee, North Carolina, Nebraska and Kansas. She is a 2012 graduate of Middle Tennessee State University and grew up in Florida.
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