Health Rehab honors maintenance crew

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 21, 2006

It's a bird, it's a plane-no it's the super Maintenance Department at Luverne Health and Rehab working their way around the building.

&#8220Multi-tasking is the key to keeping the facility up and operating,” said Maintenance Supervisor, Gary Gandy.

&#8220Our facility is larger than most ball fields, and that's not to mention the grounds.

If any system goes out, fire alarms, heating and cooling, or laundry, it's a maintenance emergency.

We've got 151 residents and 175 employees and everything's got to be up and running at all times.”

Gandy operates his department with one other employee, Jason Bodiford, and they say the most challenging thing they have ever encountered was preparing for Hurricane Ivan, in 2004, and successfully securing it during the storm.

Bodiford, who's been with the facility four and a half years said, &#8220We were on site for four days, with very little sleep.

We were fortunate that we had no major breakdowns, but a few minor things kept us on our toes.”

Gandy, who has been with the facility 13 years, said he's learned to live with being beeped or paged every few minutes during the day, and that either Bodiford or himself is always on call evenings and weekends for the facility.

&#8220I really get a kick out of fixing things and helping people,” Gandy said.

&#8220Maybe someday, down the road, I'd like to be a Maintenance consultant for the Corporate office of Northport Health Service, in Tuscaloosa.

Bodiford says he enjoys working with the elderly and plans to advance his career by taking refrigeration and air conditioning courses in the future.

Putting aside their super maintenance persona, both Gandy and Bodiford say they value time with their families.

Gandy's wife Menasha is a nurse, with a tough schedule of her own.

They have two children, Thailon 4, and India 10.

Bodiford, and his wife Kensha, also have two children, Alasja 3, and Ja'Royal, 6 months.

Even though cannot compete with flying bullets, locomotives, or leaping over tall buildings, they're still super Maintenance heroes to the residents and staff at Luverne Health and Rehab.