December ’12 Elevator Constructor

Brothers and sisters:

As I write this, the devastation wrought by Hurricane Sandy is being assessed, families are being reunited and the cleanup is just beginning by a devastated and numb east coast.  I can speak for everyone in Local 17 by wishing our brothers and sisters who stood in the way of the storm and their families are safe.

At the height of the storm I was called out to a sixteen-story downtown office building.  In order to access the machine room I had to cross 30 feet of roof.  Because I was about 180 feet in the air and the wind was blowing between the surrounding buildings, the sustained 65 mph winds and 85 mph gusts were accelerated to God knows how fast.  I opened the stairwell door and looked out onto what can only be described as a simultaneously amazing and horrifying site.

The pure, unbridled power of the storm literally in my face.

An access door across the roof hung on a single hinge.  A vent cap blew left to right and over the 180 foot parapet.  I felt my feet turn to lead and my knuckles turn white as I held the handle in a death grip.  I contemplated for a long moment going out into the melee when the wind slammed the door in my face.  The howling on the other side was greater than several freight trains roaring up a steep grade.

Over the years I have read several books about high altitude climbers swept off mountains and to their deaths by high winds.  I thought again about braving the storm.  Making my way to the ladder secured to the machine room, holding on to the conduit strapped to the outside to get to the door and then completing the circuit back.   Ultimately I decided that being swept off the top of a building was not the way I wanted to be remembered.  I called the superintendent and he agreed that cooler heads needed to prevail.

The customer would have to wait out the storm.

The December and January meetings are mandatory meetings for the election and installation of officers.  At the December meeting there will be a vote on an additional $10 increase of the dues in addition to the $10 requested by the Treasurer and Trustees.

Congratulations to Ed Gimmel, Ryan Foley, Nick Meyer and Chris Wyant for passing the Mechanics Exam.  Remember that this is just the beginning of a long and very rewarding career.  Do not allow yourself be pushed to finish a job quickly rather than safely.

Where are they working?

Tim Narowitz and Dave Adrian doing a mod at Quarrytown in Berea for Thyssen,

Mike Miller and Joe Gouker installing a freight car at Nestles for Otis,

Darrell Scislo and Maxwell Desotell doing service work for Otis,

Jim Archer and Ryan Todd doing a one-car mod at Huntington Bank Berea for Schindler,

John Logue, Ken Hasek, Scott Villanueva, Craig Haller, Jason Saunders, Tim Gibbons and Steven Keating working at Key Tower for Otis,

Ron Wittwage and Taurus Ogletree installing a three-stop hydro at Lorain Community College for Schindler,

Jim Thompson and Jonathan Koch installing an elevator at Metro South Parking Garage for Otis,

Al Ward, Jason Sohayda, Ric Supinski and Lucas Jenke installing cars at Fairview Hospital for Otis,

Todd Kemp and Ken Leonard installing a Life Jacket at Chestnut Lake Apartments for Edmonds,

Dennis Dixon and Fran Adams doing a mod at Moreland Courts for Kone.

 

As of this writing, everyone who wants to work is working.

 

Till next month…

 

Work smart, work safe and slow down for safety.

 

Don

dknapik@windstream.net