Nintendo Game Boys made their debut. The World Wide Web was invented. And a gallon of gas only cost 97 cents. It was 1989, and while it may feel like a lifetime ago, it was the year Jim Suiter joined Miller Electric.
He’s always loved working with his hands and interacting with people, so when his uncle suggested he consider becoming an electrician, he gladly explored the prospect.
Starting out as an electrical apprentice, he worked on a variety of projects, increasing his knowledge and skills at every turn. But there was one job he kept coming back to: CHI Bergan. He found he really enjoyed being the liaison between the customer and the electrical team, serving their needs. It was rewarding to see the customer’s comfort level rise when Miller walked in the door. They knew the Miller team was there to make everything go according to plan.
Calm, Cool and Collected for the Customer
Today, Jim’s days begin at 7 a.m. sharp. He’s still working in the CHI network and starts every day with a plan. And then quickly sees it sidelined by phone calls with urgent, and often unplanned, requests. There is nothing typical about his day-to-day scenarios.
The reality of doing electrical work for hospitals is that you must be able to respond to the needs of the customer, moment by moment.
“We adjust and make it work,” Jim says.
Jim describes himself as the middleman between the Miller team and the hospital network. That role consists of finding out what the customer needs each day and sending the right team members for the job.
The electrical intricacies of Bergan’s upgrade to a Level 1 Trauma Center excite Jim. Between the complicated parts and the coding, he sees it all as an exciting adventure. Among other things, they are working to get the generator upgraded and install a new CAT lab and CT scanner.
“[We’re] almost like an electrical help desk,” Jim says. If the power goes out, Miller is there. If the chips go down, Miller is there. When things go awry, the customer knows that Miller is there to save the day.
A huge part of working at Miller is staying calm and safe, even in times of crisis.
“Safety is a critical aspect of our daily work. We need to make sure no patients or staff are ever in any danger and that we all get home safe as well. For this reason, we’re methodical in our procedures, taking care to follow safety protocols closely. This is particularly important during extreme circumstances. In hospital settings, any mistakes can be costly, so we make sure we don’t put ourselves or anyone else in danger,” Jim says.
Electrical Safety Is a Team Sport
Jim doesn’t do his work alone. He credits the good relationship Miller Electric has with its customers to his talented team members who make it fun to go to work every day.
All those co-workers help make sure everything goes according to plan. Each person knows their role and what to do to keep everyone safe.
And it’s not just the field team that does the work. From the warehouse to the shop and office staff, everyone is in sync to make sure the job gets done right.
“We’re the players on the field and need the staff on the sidelines to support us,” Jim says. He sees how the support system Miller provides for its field employees creates a rewarding work environment.
Much of Jim’s work involves translating customer pain points into electrical solutions. Keeping the project managers in the know is critical. “They trust me to do what I do with our guys and the customer. It all keeps coming back to the team … from the top down to the bottom.”
“You get what you put into it. If you are invested in it, the industry will invest in you,” Jim says. For those considering a trade, Jim suggests coming in with an open mind. “The work is always changing and can provide its fair share of challenges, but if you stick with it, you’ll find it very rewarding.”
Powered by a Job Well Done
Overall, Jim and his team find the work to be fulfilling in this professional trade. Every workday is different, but it all comes back to the reward of getting the job done right.