Injured LMEMS Paramedic On Road To Recovery

Last week we mentioned Joe Riffe, a paramedic with LMEMS who fell 100+ feet while on a hike last May. He’s been on a mission to get a prosthesis while keeping his job:

We mention Riffe because Richmond, Miller, Fischer and crew have been less than supportive. The man had to fight to go back to work temporarily and on light duty so he could maintain health insurance and feed his family. Now that he faces months of rehabilitation, things are up in the air with Metro about whether or not he’ll have a job and health care. This guy’s a dedicated paramedic who wants to do his job – something that’s obviously rare. And he’s struggling to keep from getting the shaft.

We heard from Riffe the day after his surgery and he was in terrific spirits. Now, reading his own words, you see that he’s the kind of fighter Louisville needs and relies on:

Finally the first steps of my journey to getting my life back to normal has begun. It started on January 26th with the first incision of a scalpel and now has finally moved to my home. The plan now is physical therapy at home 3 times a week and learning to get around without my leg. It’ll be at least a month before I can get the prosthetic. I am currently wearing the lovely device known as a “stump shrinker” it’s actually much more comfortable than it sounds. It’s only painful when it is put on, after that it actually feels quite nice, the gentle compression helps with the phantom pains.


I finally got out of that purgatory, I can not express well enough with the words I have available to me to describe the feeling of being stuck. The feeling of not moving forward or backward, just stuck in the place where you are. So, I know I have said it a few times before, I am finally able to make a step toward my future. I am finally stepping out into the world again, I am going to deal with people staring and making fun of me, because face it, some people can be evil…but I’m ready for this. I have already shocked the doctors and nurses taking care of me by progressing so quickly from amputation to home, I think I’m going to shock a lot more people by becoming the 54th paramedic in the United States to return to work on an ambulance as Louisville’s own Prosthetic Medic. Look out….I’m Back!!!!

Meanwhile, neither Neal Richmond nor anyone else in Greg Fischer’s administration have bothered to reach out in support.

They can’t be bothered with supporting the front line but you most certainly can.

3 thoughts on “Injured LMEMS Paramedic On Road To Recovery

  1. Keep fighting Joe, I know you have it in you. I support you 100% and will gladly be your partner when you return to the streets. I know it will be a battle for you, but prayers for a quick pain free recovery.

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