NECA Contractors and IBEW Local 1 Adapt To Serve Critical Community Needs During Pandemic

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NECA contractors and IBEW Local 1 are adapting to serve critical community power and communication needs while working to keep its workforce safe during the pandemic.  One such example is Guarantee Electrical Construction which has been working with IBEW to install power for Covid-19 testing tents and triage units at hospitals throughout the area.

On March 24, 2020, Guarantee began a two-day set up to install power for a COVID-19 testing station at St. Luke’s Hospital.  It entailed running about 700 feet of cable from the main building to a 200-amp panel and a 100-amp feed for a trailer.  They also installed lighting and heaters in two small tents, lights and heaters for the testing tent and power for a supply trailer and a small office trailer.

The assignment relied heavily on Guarantee’s pre-fabrication operation to expedite materials needed for the installation.  Guarantee has been a leader and proponent of prefabrication since the 1970s.  “Over the years, we have perfected our ability, not only to manufacture our own components, but to modularize large elements that contain all mechanical, electrical, and plumbing prefabrication, such as, headwalls, pipe/duct/conduit racks, skids, and complete bathrooms, said Dave Gralike, president, Missouri Branch, Guarantee. “The advantages of prefabrication and modularization include a higher quality product, safer environments, schedule acceleration, and most important in relation to the pandemic, there are less craftspeople required to be on a project.  Prefabbing our work allows us to better control social distancing, keeping our essential workforce protected from the spread of coronavirus.”

On March 23, 2020 Guarantee began working with IBEW to set up temporary triage and COVID-19 testing facilities for Mercy Creve Coeur and Mercy South setup. Guarantee setup temporary power, lighting and heat for the tents as well as fiber and copper networks. It is scheduled to do similar work at Mercy in Washington, Mo.

Meanwhile, working with IBEW, Guarantee has established healthcare safety protocols to mitigate the spread of the virus and protect its workforce.  It has created a mobile COVID – 19 Defense Unit lockable carts with personal protective equipment and other safety items for work in contagious areas.  It is keeping its workforce informed on health issues and ensuring there are sufficient hand washing stations and social distancing on sites.  “We’ve basically adapted our experience in critical care systems, healthcare work requirements, infection prevention protocols and accelerated schedules to meet the demands of this healthcare crisis,” added Gralike.

“I’m very proud of our membership,” said Frank Jacobs, business manager, IBEW Local 1. “Their skills, safety and reliability are invaluable at any time, but especially so in these times when we must meet truly essential and critical needs.”

Guarantee is a member of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) – St. Louis Chapter.  NECA partners with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1 to form the Electrical Connection.  For more than 100 years, IBEW/ NECA contractors have established and followed safety protocols and systems for all work sites to protect workers and the public and continues to serve with reliable and dependable expertise when needed.  Learn more at www.electricalconnection.org.

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