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Skilled to Work: NECA IBEW Local 145 contractors and electricians help hospitals power life-saving equipment

ROCK ISLAND, Illinois — It takes an incredible amount of electricity to run a modern general hospital. “We’re one of the largest energy users in the...

ROCK ISLAND, Illinois -- It takes an incredible amount of electricity to run a modern general hospital.

"We’re one of the largest energy users in the area, that’s non-manufacturing of course," said Bryan Garter, Director of Plant Engineering at UnityPoint Health Trinity Hospital in Rock Island.

Garter is responsible for all of the facilities, construction and maintenance at the hospital. He works closely with NECA IBEW Local 145 contractors and electricians on an almost daily basis.

One electrician could be seen on Tuesday running conduits that will supply power to a new chiller.

"We operate 24-7, 365. When you have a loved on who needs care, they need it now, they can't wait," Garter said.

Electricians like Cory Bergfeld, Business Manager of IBEW Local 145, understand.

"During construction the hospitals are actually operational. So it is very important that safety is followed throughout the process of any construction project there because there are operating rooms that are in full swing," Bergfeld said.

Radiology equipment in particular require a lot of energy. Trinity's radiology department has recently acquired a new fluoroscopic X-ray video machine, and clinicians who run it and patients who need it depend on reliable power.

Garter says he turns to Local 145 for most of the hospital's electrical needs.

"The power system itself was completely renovated and updated by NECA IBEW contractors right here in the Quad Cities," said Alan Anderson, Executive Director of the Quad Cities chapter of NECA.

"Their education in the back-end work and preparation that goes into these buildings is done, so you can rest assured that you are getting the safest, most up-to-date, efficient product that’s out there."

Their work powers the technology that can literally save lives.

"We’ve got to make sure we have a continuous source of power so that we can keep our patients safe when they need us the most," Garter said.