NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana - In the wake of the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, Hilton Hotels Corporation stepped forward to provide hotel space that enabled SimplexGrinnell to support its own displaced employees - and make the city safer by helping to get fire and life-safety systems back in operation.
Hilton, which has a long-time business relationship with SimplexGrinnell, was more than willing to lend a hand as the company handled a major challenge after the hurricane - finding living space for some of the displaced service employees from its local New Orleans office. Hotel space had been virtually impossible to come by, but Hilton made a handful of rooms available to SimplexGrinnell at the Hilton New Orleans Airport and the Hilton New Orleans Riverside.
Many who used the rooms were SimplexGrinnell service technicians who play a critical role in repairing and re-testing fire and life-safety systems damaged by Katrina and the subsequent flooding. With the Hilton hotel space, SimplexGrinnell employees were able to continue to work and support the many customers whose fire-safety systems were compromised during the hurricane. Michael Breecher, service manager in SimplexGrinnell's New Orleans office, says the rooms made available by Hilton have been a huge boon to the company's efforts to serve customers. "SimplexGrinnell takes our role in fire and life-safety very seriously, and is working hard to provide the services our customers need to get their systems operational and make their buildings as safe as possible. The fact that we were able to house some of our key people at Hilton properties has made a big difference in our ability to fulfill our responsibilities as a service provider."
Michael Lohr, director of service marketing at SimplexGrinnell, says the entire SimplexGrinnell organization appreciates the help that Hilton has provided. "This gesture says a lot about Hilton as a company and about the strength of our relationship," Lohr says. "It helped some of our employees whose own lives were affected by Hurricane Katrina. At the same time, Hilton has contributed to the well-being of the community by supporting SimplexGrinnell's efforts, under the most difficult of circumstances, to provide fire and life-safety protection."