WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — As the number of New Yorkers infected by COVID-19 skyrockets, health department officials are bracing for local hospitals being unable to accommodate the thousands of people who may need medical attention in coming weeks.

In response to the crisis, the Federal Emergency Management Agency issued a $350 million Mission Assignment to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for construction of four alternate care facilities in New York, including the Westchester County Center arena in White Plains. Dating back to its opening in 1930, the Westchester County Center has hosted tradeshows, sports, as well as political and family entertainment events ranging from New Kids on the Block to Dancing with the Stars.

The Army Corps of Engineers allotted 21 days to complete the Westchester County Center project. This was no short order given that the arena, which was to be transformed into a alternate care facility providing acute care. On top of that, there was the construction of four MASH-style tents in the arena’s parking lot. Ruggedly built of aluminum instead of standard canvas, the four tents now house half of the total 110 hospital beds at the Westchester site.

In need of pipe protection, the project’s general contractor Haugland Energy Group LLC reached out to AEF Sales, a local sales representative of Emerson brand Nelson™ heat tracing cables and accessories. AEF Sales has worked with Haugland on various power plant projects in the past and enjoys a strong partnership with the contractor.

Recognizing the importance of getting the Westchester County Center up and running, Emerson’s sales representatives removed all barriers to meet the order quantity expeditiously.

Pietro Fasolino, president of AEF Sales, stepped up to the challenge, as well. Rather than wait for delivery, Fasolino drove a dedicated truck more than 100 miles to the Emerson manufacturing and warehouse facility in East Granby, Connecticut, to pick up the Nelson cable Sunday night and ensure on-site delivery at 5:30 AM Monday.

As a result of the efforts of AEF and Emerson, the water lines were fully protected from the elements by the time service was turned on.

“Behind the scenes, Emerson’s team worked alongside us to rapidly get the right heat trace cables into the hands of Haugland Energy Group contractors who were on the frontlines of this project,” said Fasolino. “Emerson cut lead times from weeks to days, or even hours, ensuring the quick mobilization of the alternate care facility in an emergency situation.”

“Emerson is proud to have worked closely with AEF and Haugland Energy Group as they raced to complete the Westchester project and mitigate the impact of COVID-19,” said Kelly Pierce, sales channel manager for Nelson at Emerson. “Emerson’s regional sourcing and manufacturing strategies helped us to identify the fastest path to move Nelson cables from the initial order to on-site delivery.”

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