Over the past several months, all eyes have been focused on the global COVID-19 pandemic and the world’s response to protecting human life. Citizens have been quarantined for months, non-essential businesses have closed their doors, and essential businesses have changed their practices to create safer environments for their employees. While these times have been challenging, they have also shown the resilience of our world and what is possible when we all work together.
Miller Electric Company is no stranger to working in less than ideal conditions. Our Disaster Recovery team has led hurricane relief efforts for our clients for the past 30 years. As dangerous and disruptive as a hurricane can be, we can often predict their path in advance and ready the necessary supplies to mitigate disruptions. A global pandemic, however, is far less predictable and the world was forced to adjust at a moment’s notice. For our clients, especially in the healthcare space, these adjustments had to be made quickly in an effort to preserve human life.
As cases began to rise in the United States, local governments began to work with hospitals and medical facilities to ensure they could provide necessary care to patients who tested positive for the virus. In Jacksonville, we worked with Baptist Hospital to expand its bed capabilities in three of its local facilities. Over the course of only 3 weeks, our crews worked to install an additional 351 beds at Baptist’s Downtown, South and Beach campuses. Collaborating with W.W. Gay, our teams worked together and utilized prefabrication efforts to expedite the process as cases in Duval County began to trend upward.
At Memorial Hospital, our teams set up temporary triage tents in front of the Emergency Department that were used to pre-screen patients for the virus. This helped limit the spread for visitors in the Emergency Room and allowed the hospital to assign incoming patients to the correct floor to mitigate exposure to staff and existing patients.
As states began to mandate their “Stay at Home” orders, our teams remained committed to serving the critical infrastructure of our clients. Our field personnel shifted their normal routines to protect the public by wearing masks, participating in mandatory temperature checks, and practicing social distancing when feasible. Our Safety and HR teams worked tirelessly to provide our team members with the necessary PPE to perform their duties safely, while also providing resources to ensure they were doing everything they could to protect themselves and their families.
The clients we serve on a daily basis are responsible for our country’s most critical infrastructure. During a global crisis, the continuity of those services is absolutely essential to our nation and its citizens. We will never take that responsibility lightly. Our employees have shown that even when times are challenging, our purpose remains the same and we could not be more proud of their efforts and commitment to our clients and communities.