Union Hall served as command center for police, first responders
On most days, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1 union hall at 5850 Elizabeth Ave. is a hub for the highest skilled and safe electrical workforce. But for a 10-day stretch in November 2014, it served the St. Louis community as a command center for public safety during the unrest in Ferguson.
Last week, the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department saluted Local 1 with a plaque acknowledging the union’s help in supporting the need for a critical operations center.
“IBEW’s civic gesture gave us a centrally located command center that was vital to our role in protecting the public,” said St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson. “The union opened up its facilities, including its kitchen, so we could plan, feed and provide respite for officers and their families during some very trying times.”
Beginning Nov. 22, 2015, more than 300 police staged at the union hall and used its parking lot for its emergency vehicles during the 24/7 command center operations. Local 1 also provided a safe location for families of first responders to bring food or use the union hall kitchen and facilities to support police and fire personnel.
“We were proud to host these public servants and appreciate everything they do to protect our community,” said Local 1 Business Manager Frank Jacobs.
Founded in 1891, IBEW Local One is the oldest electrical union in the country and traces its roots to the first commercial use of energy. Its more than 5,000 members provide safe and reliable electrical installations for commercial, industrial and residential customers.
With its partner, the St. Louis Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), Local 1jointly operates the IBEW/NECA Electrical Industry Training Center, which has trained more highly skilled electricians and communication technicians than any other entity in the state of Missouri.
It also serves the community through its labor-management partnership – the Electrical Connection.