NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - It’s a problem News4 Investigates uncovered, hundreds of people trapped in elevators without help.

Because of our investigation, the state is making changes.

A young lady is trapped in the elevator and said it’s hard for her to breathe. She hit the alarm button for help, but got a “big clunk and a sudden stop.”

The Nashville Fire Department said it was seeing hundreds of cases where alarm-monitoring companies have wrong addresses on file.

Oftentimes building owners are listing the corporate headquarters address instead of the address for the actual building with the elevator.

What’s happening as a result? People pushing the alarm button to get help is sending help in the wrong direction.

“They’re going to be calling the wrong location and we’re going to their headquarters,” said Daniel Tinnon, an engineer with the Nashville Fire Department.

News4 found other cases where people used their phones to call 911, but they couldn’t tell dispatchers where they were because the address of the building was nowhere to be found. Some people ended up trapped, waiting for up to an hour and a half for help.

“It’s a little frustrating due to the fact that it takes us longer to get there, and we can’t help the person as soon as possible,” said Tinnon.

News4 Investigates took the information to the state and regulators took swift action.

“The three most important things in the job are safety, safety, safety,” said Tom Herrod, assistant commissioner for Workplace Regulations and Compliance division.

At a meeting on Tuesday, the board voted unanimously on a new rule that will require all commercial elevators to have the building’s physical address posted inside so if you get trapped, you will know exactly where you are.

“We’ve addressed an issue and I think we’ve come up with a good solution to it,” said Herrod. “If it’s an emergency medical situation, the response can be within a matter of minutes and not a matter of hours.”

 
 

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