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Also In This Issue A Fight for Dignity
Film Brings Labor History
to Life read_more

The Electric Truck is Here
IBEW Members Will Deliver Future of Truck Industry read_more

Combating Right-to-Work
Oklahoma Organizers' Success in the Face
of RTW read_more

A Sight on Rails
Special BNSF Locomotive Visits Nebraska Members read_more

North of 49°
Ontario Local Winterizes Scouts Canada Campsite read_more

Au nord du 49° parallèle
La section locale en Ontario aménage le camp des Scouts du Canada pour l'hiver read_more

My IBEW Story David Cardy read_more

PBF Summary Annual Report read_more

NEAP Benefit Notice read_more

NEAP Summary
Annual Report






Cover Photo

Chicago Local Teaches
Area Firefighters
How to Stay Safe with Solar

It's among a firefighter's worst-case scenarios: An overnight call to a scene where the surroundings are dark and unfamiliar and every step poses life-threatening danger, not from flames or degraded structure — they're used to that — but from live wires, trip hazards and physical impediments to the most basic of firefighting strategies.

This safety worry has played out night after night across the world as the use of commercial and residential solar power has grown over the last few decades. As builders and customers have turned to low-cost, low-environmental-impact photovoltaic and battery technology, firefighters have had to wrestle with the added dangers presented by rooftop panels.

It's why lawmakers and building-code regulators have increasingly turned to updating rules for solar installations and fire departments have sought out additional training for crews responding to fires where solar is part of the safety equation. And who better to help lead that training than the men and women who often install the panels themselves?

At Chicago Local 134, whose jurisdiction covers all of Chicago and 133 other incorporated municipalities in Illinois' Cook County, the opportunity to help neighboring fire departments navigate the potential dangers of solar power was one that local leaders couldn't pass up. It started when representatives from the Alsip Fire Department, located near the local's training center, reached out for help.

"They called us because they were starting to see more and more solar get installed within the last few years, and they knew we could help educate them," said Local 134 business representative Robert Hattier, who worked to build a training curriculum around solar safety. "It made me realize, we're always thinking of the electrical inspectors who work with permitting authorities to prevent problems, but what about the first responders' safety?"

Already, Hattier has trained hundreds of firefighters at dozens of station houses throughout Illinois about the well-known and lesser-known dangers of solar power generation. He combines classroom-based lectures and discussions with hands-on experience when possible, giving first responders a chance to see and safely touch what they might be up against in an actual firefighting situation. read_more

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Officers Column Stephenson & Cooper:
Looking to 2021 read_more

TransitionsGary V. Buresh read_more

PoliticsRail Talks Continue Amid COVID-19 Concerns;
New Attacks on Federal Workers Part of Administration's
Anti‑Worker Agenda read_more

Organizing WireIn Federal Vacuum,
Pro-Worker States Act To Protect Workplaces from COVID-19's Spread read_more

CircuitsUpstate NY Program Provides a Career in the Trades to Underserved Communities of Color;
'Contactless Office' Program Aims to Help Chicago Bounce Back;
Ontario Local Raises Money for Area Women's Shelter read_more

In MemoriamOctober 2020 read_more

Who We AreLocal 1220 Member's 'Purposeful Walk' Takes
Him to Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame read_more


Change of Address