International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Heroes


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On 25 June 2013, a fast-moving fire hit a nursing home in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Fortunately, the nursing home was next door to the Community College of Allegheny County, where instructor Tammy Miller was teaching a communication class of 24 members of the union International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). Ms. Miller said, “We were on break, and some of the students were standing outside when they noticed smoke coming from the neighboring building. I then said, ‘Oh, my God, that’s a nursing home,’ and they made off like a swarm of bees for the building.” No alarms or sprinklers were set off because the fire had started on the roof. The IBEW members helped the nursing home’s staff get the residents to safety. Ms. Miller said, “They were running down halls, knocking on doors to make sure everyone was out.” IBEW student Jaimee Cancolina said, “Some helped people out, some people got oxygen tanks out, and we got everyone out and across the street.” Some residents who could not walk had to be carried out. Everyone was successfully evacuated. No injuries were reported. Ms. Miller said, “This was a fast-moving fire and no one inside even knew it was happening. Without these heroes, the papers would have a very different headline.”

For Further Information: “IBEW Apprentices Rescue Seniors from Pittsburgh Nursing Home Blaze.” AFL-CIO NOW. 28 June 2013

For Further Information: John Clay, “Students Jump Into Action To Save Fire Victims.” 25 June 2013

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