JPS Hospital Hires New Elevator Maintenance Company

John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth on Thursday announced the hiring of a new elevator maintenance company.

A five-year agreement with SW Elevators Inc. was approved by the board of managers with a unanimous vote.

"We are hopeful about building a relationship of trust and confidence with SW Elevators," said Robert Earley, president and CEO of JPS Health Network. "This is a family run enterprise. The current CEO is third generation. And the only thing this company does is maintain and repair elevators."

JPS fired its previous maintenance company last month, weeks after an elevator accident left a nurse severely injured. JPS confirmed it terminated its contract with ThyssenKrupp, also known as TKE, effective in May.

SW Elevator has agreed to provide two full-time mechanics to service the JPS contract, which will start on May 14.

The nurse, Carren Stratford, was critically injured Jan. 20 when she was crushed after she got trapped by the elevator as it went up.

“Until recently, both sides had been happy with this relationship,” ThyssenKrupp said in a statement.

The company took over the contract in 2014.

“We are now ready to assist its new elevator service provider in any way that we can to ensure a smooth and seamless transition,” ThyssenKrupp said. “We remain committed to the safety of those that rely on the elevators at JPS Hospital.”

Following the accident, the hospital hired a consultant, Lerch Bates, to survey the work ThyssenKrupp has been doing.

The consultant said ThyssenKrupp, also known as TKE, had failed to do its job in each area it studied.

Its report included photos of debris and oil at the bottom of elevator shafts, electrical equipment missing covers, and discolored ropes that it said need to be replaced.

In another report just two years ago, Lerch Bates said the maintenance of JPS elevators was above average and recommended updating the same elevator which injured the nurse.

The hospital said the report was about long-term spending and didn’t mention any safety issues.

Asked about the most recent report, a ThyssenKrupp spokesman declined comment saying the hospital had not provided the company with a copy.

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