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Broken elevator a safety concern in Housing Authority building

Updated: Thursday, August 7 2014, 05:37 PM EDT
JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ohio -- A broken elevator at the Schlernitzauer Apartments in Yorkville is creating what EMT officials are calling a hazard for the people who live there.
But the problem could be fixed very soon.
The main elevator at the complex has been broken for 2 months. The building is located only seconds away from the fire department in Yorkville, but when EMT/Paramedic Mark Thompson says he gets a call from the building, he runs into constant problems.
"A worst-case scenario would be to have to take a window out and take them through a window," he said.
Emergency medical personnel have been called to the apartment building three times since the main elevator broke 2 months ago. They say they are using a second elevator in the building, but it is not big enough for large stretchers.
"(We’ve) had enough getting in here without proper elevators,” Thompson said. “(It’s) been 2 months and they haven't done anything."
Jefferson County Housing Authority official Joe Costantini said this all began when a person was trapped in the elevator because of a power failure during a storm. He says fire department officials broke through the elevator doors instead of waiting for a building employee to open it with a key.
It's what happened Wednesday morning that led Thompson to call for help when he says he couldn't reach the housing authority about the problem.
"We had a guy who was sick, had some heart issues, and we had to take him out of his apartment, put him into the stair chair, get him in the smaller elevator and then get him back out of the stair chair and onto the cot,” Thompson said.
They got the patient out of the building, eventually, but not without going through a series of extra steps that wouldn't be necessary if the main elevator was up and running.
"It just needs fixed,” Thompson said.
Costantini released this statement that reads in part:
"We have been getting estimates on repairing the doors, which will be about $11,000,” Costantini explained. “We will be proceeding with the repairs in the next 1-2 weeks."
Again this fix will be a solution to what could turn out to be a life or death situation.

Broken elevator a safety concern in Housing Authority building

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