IBEW members lend expertise to Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Rings Project
February 8, 2002
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah Members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Locals 57 and 354 assisted the Salt Lake Organizing Committee (SLOC) with preparations for lighting the Olympic Rings project in the foothills of Salt Lake City. During the past few weeks, 25 IBEW members, many of whom volunteered their own time, lent their expertise to SLOCs project to wire and install the compact florescent lights that illuminate the five Olympic Rings shining above the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. IBEW is a supporter of the 2002 Games through its relationship with Utah Power, the Official Electrical Utility Sponsor of the Salt Lake 2002 Olympic Winter Games.
"The Olympic rings alight above the city are a testament to the abilities, professionalism and community spirit of the IBEW," said IBEW International President Edwin D. Hill, representing the IBEW in Salt Lake City on Thursday, February 7 when the rings were lighted.
Located northeast of Salt Lake City at an elevation of 6,000 feet, the site presented multiple challenges. To minimize the projects environmental impact, no more than 18 people were allowed on the mountain at once and equipment was carried in on snowshoes the last 200 feet from the staging area to the Olympic Rings site.
Overall, the Olympic Rings measure approximately 300 feet by 500 feet on the mountainside and require more than 1,800 compact florescent lights. Compact florescent lights were chosen because of their energy efficiency, saving 82 per cent of the energy incandescent light bulbs would require.
Because the work took place on a steep incline and during winter weather conditions, Local 57 Vice President Art Ledesma explained they took care to use workers trained in avalanche duty to deal with the challenges of the hill.
IBEWs role as a supporter of the 2002 Games came through its relationship with Utah Power, the Official Electrical Utility Sponsor of the Games. Some of Utah Powers employees are members of IBEW Local 57 and have participated in the companys preparations for the Games. Utah Power serves eight of the 10 Olympic competition venue sites as well as five official non-competition venues. Utah Power serves more than 700,000 customers in Utah and southeast Idaho.
The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers has approximately 780,000 active members in the United States and Canada. Of these, some 220,000 work in the utility industry.