Forty-three-year-old Jin Hui works as an engineer at China Construction Third Engineering Bureau, a subsidiary of China State Construction Engineering Corporation in Wuhan. Informed that his company were recruiting volunteers to construct an emergency hospital to combat the novel coronavirus outbreak, Jin wrote a petition letter asking to participate despite suffering from diabetes for over ten years. He was later named chief installation engineer of the Huoshenshan Hospital project.
“The earlier the completion of the hospital, the better we can combat the epidemic, and we can’t afford to waste time,” he said after cancelling his plan to take his family back to his hometown in Fujian province for the Chinese New Year. “I’m sorry that I failed my family, but I have no regrets.”
A volunteer and a leader
As an experienced engineer who has participated in several key projects in Wuhan, Jin took the rush-building of the Huoshenshan Hospital as a momentous task in his career. He said, “To fight against the epidemic for my country is something I must do.”
Upon receiving the news about the construction plan of the Huoshenshan Hospital in the afternoon of Jan. 23, he volunteered for the project. As a veteran in the company for more than 20 years, he knew that Huoshenshan is a battlefield to fight against the epidemic.
“I must step forward when duty calls.” In the early morning of Jan. 24, Jin tried to console his preoccupied wife, kissed his daughter goodbye when she was still asleep, and rushed to the frontlines.
Jin started to work in full gear before the arrival of construction teams and machineries. As the chief installation engineer, he worked for two days and nights with the design team to come up with the first version of architectural drawings, and took those drawings to the site to kick off construction.
During the day, Jin was on-site to guide the construction and installation work, while at night he would join the design team to optimize the design scheme. At 3 a.m. on Feb. 1, he was still working with his colleagues to run through the project acceptance checklist, and prepare for the delivery on Feb. 2. For a hospital of 33,900 square meters, Jin walked around every ward overnight, taking notes, working through every checklist item, making double checks, and moving on to the next ward.
To complete the massive construction project in 10 days was a tremendous mission. Mobilizing human resources during the Chinese New Year holiday was extremely difficult, let alone in the time of an epidemic outbreak. Efficient mobilization of manpower and supplies became the top priority.
“We must make the impossible possible, because we are rushing to save lives,” Jin said as he deployed the crew and supplies on hand into operation. He also facilitated the establishment of a temporary command and support system at the same time, coordinating various departments and scheduling the shifts of different construction teams, while communicating for reinforcement to meet the demand on site.
A son honors his mother
Jin’s mother told him before he set out, “The destiny of a nation lies in the hands of every individual citizen. If you can contribute to the early completion of the hospital, it would be the greatest honor to me. I am proud of you and look forward to your return.” She reminded him repeatedly to take care of himself.
Despite so, Jin focused more on the project than himself. By 11 p.m. on Jan. 30, he had been working for 16 hours straight at the construction site. In the early morning of Feb. 9, he had finished his mission to build the Huoshenshan Hospital. Yet, his journey continued as he set out for the construction site of Leishenshan, a second emergency hospital to contain the novel coronavirus outbreak.
Jin wrote in his work log, “The epidemic outbreak is a call for action, the prevention and control is our responsibility, and rush-building hospitals is a share we can contribute. Surely there are obstacles on the road to success, and every victory is earned with courage. Every minute saved in construction offers better chance to save lives. All we can do is to fight like warriors.”