As the Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) spreads across China, the demand for ambulances has surged. Jiangling Motors Corporation (JMC), a Ford joint venture in China, received more than 3000 orders for ambulances, including plenty of negative-pressure isolation ones, which are commonly used to transfer patients with airborne infections. It was during the Spring Festival, when Chinese people traditionally unite with their families and enjoy a nice holiday after a year of hard work.
Many JMC employees, however, volunteered to return to the Xiaolan Plant where the ambulances are manufactured, and worked overtime, managing to complete the demanding tasks under tight deadlines.
We may not be able to recognize all of their faces behind the masks, please let's do remember a few names of many of these respectable heroes in this battle against the virus.
“The Most Experienced Volunteer”: Gao Feng Together with five other colleagues, Gao Feng, welding maintenance engineer, volunteered to take part in the urgent task even though only a few engineers from their workshop had been requested to return to work.
“Colleagues from other provinces may find it difficult to return to the plant due to the city lockdowns. As local people, it is more convenient for us. Besides, we confronted similar challenges during the 2002 SARS outbreak and the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake. We are very experienced in dealing with these adverse conditions,” said Gao Feng. These employees, who have accumulated rich experience in overcoming unusual challenges, have become pillars of strength for the whole team.
The Loneliest Commuter: Yin Fang As a project development engineer at the Intelligent Equipment Center of Xiaolan Plant, Yin Fang is responsible for coordinating manufacturing, formulating process flow, and managing quality control of five key assembly parts for ambulances. Given the tight deadlines and demanding precision parts, Yin Fang worked far into the night for several consecutive days. After he finished a day of hard work, there was no shuttle bus to take him home anymore. He either just slept in the office and dove straight into work the next day or rode home 20 km away on his electric bicycle.
The streets were even more serene at late night after the outbreak of the epidemic. Yin Fang was the only commuter on the road. Exhausted and lonely as he was, he felt very satisfied to be able to help fight against the epidemic.
“Super Daddy”: Zhang Ge Zhang Ge, engineer of Supplier Technology Assistance, Purchasing Department, was with his pregnant wife in the hospital when he was informed of the considerable shortage of components needed for manufacturing the ambulances. Since many suppliers and logistics were closed during the Spring Festival, it was extremely difficult to procure enough materials.
His wife was about to give birth in a few days and needed intensive care, while the purchasing task was also of significant importance. Zhang Ge strove to live up to both roles. In order to deploy adequate components, he made numerous calls with suppliers and logistics, sleeping for just five hours every day. All the efforts were worth it. On January 27, his wife gave birth to a healthy baby, and on January 29, the first batch of vans loaded with critical parts for the ambulances finally departed for the Xiaolan Plant.
“Guardian of Fighters" : Fu Jun Staff from the manufacturing business division formed a temporary disinfection team, responsible for sterilizing workshops, distributing virus protection equipment and monitoring the health conditions of employees in the plant. Since January 28, Fu Jun, a member of the disinfection team, has started work at 8:00 a.m., distributing disposable medical masks and breakfast to employees. Then he takes the temperature of employees and keeps detailed records.
Every day, the disinfection team sanitizes the spacious plant at least twice. It is a tremendous amount of work given the large area and insufficient work force. Members of the disinfection team continually walk around to sterilize the area, carrying heavy disinfectors on their backs. It is the disinfection team that ensures the health of front-line employees who are manufacturing the desperately needed ambulances. They are recognized as the “guardians of fighters”.
In addition to these stories, many other employees also volunteered to return to work, sacrificing their time with family and overcoming many obstacles. Yin Yiwu, monitor of the General Interiors Assembly Group, postponed his long-expected wedding ceremony and came back to the workshop on the second day after the Spring Festival began. His colleague, Li Baoguo, also managed to return to work, even when his hometown had been on lockdown. The local officials specially approved his return in support of the fight against the epidemic.
Thanks to the concerted efforts of the employees in the Xiaolan Plant, a batch of ambulances have been successfully delivered. Together with its JV parts, employees, dealers and customers, Ford is committed to making coordinated efforts and significant contributions to the battle against the Novel Coronavirus.