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Hello, and welcome to this feature story, powered by the NECA-IBEW team, the best labor management partnership in the construction industry. I’m your host, Dominic Giarratano.

Natural disasters occur when we all least expect them, and most times, the NECA-IBEW team is counted among the first responders, restoring power and getting things back online. While precautionary and preparedness actions by citizens can help reduce the impact, nothing can fully ensure that everything or everyone will be safe. Take, for example, in the event of an earthquake.

Depending on severity, cans of food and bottles of water, and even backup generators, can’t prevent entire buildings from collapsing. And in certain parts of the world predisposed to earthquakes, like San Francisco, California, that’s a big concern.

In 1906, an earthquake destroyed 80 percent of the city. In 1989, again, disaster struck, this time caught on live television during the broadcast of game three of the World Series. According to the San Francisco Earthquake Data Center, the fact is that earthquakes are far more common here than twice every 83 years. In 2013 alone, there were 28 registered quakes of varying magnitudes, and the fear of not knowing when or where the next one will hit has caused the city’s only trauma center hospital to take some fairly drastic preparedness actions.

Bryan Wong, Foreman, IBEW Local 6
“This is an addition to San Francisco General Hospital. It is, I believe, a $900 million total project cost.”

Jim Thorson, General Foreman, Rosendin Electric
“We put an awful big building on a little grassy knoll between some buildings that were built in 1917.”
The size of the building isn’t what’s important here, but rather, the size of the earthquake it’s meant to withstand.

Tom Thorson, Foreman, IBEW Local 6
“This building moves 30 inches all different ways, and I believe it moves up and down 5 inches. It’s on a bowl with ball bearings, so this building is designed to be able to take an earthquake. So, when people are in the hospital after the earthquake, they’re all still fine. They don’t have to get rushed out. We need a hospital after an earthquake.”

Jim Thorson, General Foreman, Rosendin Electric
“This will be a state-of-the-art trauma facility that’s able to withstand an 8.2 level earthquake and service the city and county of San Francisco.”

Tom Thorson, Foreman, IBEW Local 6
“There’s almost 45,000 feet of large pipe down here, and probably another 5,000 feet of small pipe for lighting.”

Kimber Oswald, Journeywoman, IBEW Local 6
“It doesn’t look like ideal working conditions, but it’s really fun because I get to build something. Every day is a new environment, a new challenge. I take pride in the work that I do because this will be here for the next however long. And I’m proud that I’m the one that installed it.”

Tom Thorson, Foreman, IBEW Local 6
“The Code of Excellence is a program that the IBEW does, basically from the top down. But I believe in it because we’re all professional electricians, and when you’re working, you install to a professional manner.”

A hospital addition is unlike any other type of construction around, and a hospital addition that can withstand an earthquake is unlike any other type of hospital around.

Bryan Oliver, Journeyman, IBEW Local 6
“All hospital work is pretty challenging, because there are so many devices and so much plumbing, and so much electrical that everything has to be done precisely so everything works properly. We’re trying to be as quiet as possible. The emergency ward is still going on, so we try to walk around on tip-toes as much as we can, but it’s still construction. You have to do what you have to do.”

Jim Thorson, General Foreman, Rosendin Electric
“It’s kind of a Rosendin edict. We try to build relationships and get future projects.”

John Evans, Assistant Project Manager, WebCor Builders
“Rosendin is a great subcontractor. They’ve helped us out a lot here. These two companies, us and Rosendin, have worked together over the course of our two companies’ history and I’ve been very pleased with the outcome of their performance. The workforce that they hire is very knowledgeable, and they do great work, and we’re very pleased.”

A near $1 billion engineering marvel , a building that can withstand an earthquake that registers an 8.0 on the Richter scale, and a happy customer, all brought to you in part by the NECA-IBEW team.