Pictured above: Ray Elmore – WSIC Photo
ADAPTED MULTIMEDIA SCRIPT
“The last I remember was the day before. So, when I woke up in the ICU I thought it was still that evening.”
Concord firefighter and Cool Springs Assistant Chief Ray Elmore was on his way to work in early October when a car crossed the center line of Highway 21 near Troutman and struck his motorcycle head-on.
“Everything happened perfect, basically, other than my wreck itself.”
Perfect was having Iredell EMS less than a mile from the scene. Cool Springs Chief Andy Webster says those are the people who saved the life of his Assistant Chief.
“That meant everything. Getting him to the right facility. Getting him there on time, doing the things they had to do. I mean, without those, I don’t think Ray is sitting in that chair behind me there.”
Elmore suffered injuries to his left arm, pelvis region, trachea and had his left leg amputated. He says he feels he knew his leg was gone before he woke-up and was at peace about it.
“I’m good with it. I mean, it happened. As far as that goes, I can get a prosthetic later and be able to sill function that way. You know, I’ll have another leg.”
Doctors expected Ray to be in the hospital for months, but he was out in a little over one month. That’s not to say things have been easy. Elmore says he got to a point where he didn’t want to come to the station because he didn’t feel like he was contributing.
“There (are) times when, I don’t want to say I get depressed over it, but I kind of get upset, I guess. Like when I first got out of the hospital, I got home and I realized I couldn’t help my wife or anything like that. I couldn’t do anything.”
“Seeing somebody who was… one of our top responders, and now Ray can’t respond…that’s hard.”
Still those closest to him, like his son Logan, say Ray is recovering and is same man they know and love.
“He’s himself. He still has that sense of humor. He still has that stubbornness, but he’s doing really good.”
Elmore has limited control over his left arm. Time and therapy will determine what’s possible. Meanwhile, Ray’s personal and firefighting families have been overwhelmed by support from the community which has installed a ramp at his house, paved his driveway and is constantly interested in his well-being.
“I don’t even know how to explain how grateful somebody can be,” says Elmore.
For those interested in supporting Elmore, he says prayers are number one. A GoFundMe account remains active to assist the family with expenses.