A secret hero of the Corona Crisis

Burgos, April 30, 2020.  Jose Miguel Pleguezuelos usually works in our Automotive plant in Burgos. When the Corona pandemic hit Spain, he was called to Madrid by the Red Cross - as one of the national crisis managers.

"The first few days were the hardest," says Jose Miguel Pleguezuelos, Corporate IT Operations at our Burgos plant. He has been a volunteer for the Red Cross for 25 years. Those first days he talks about were in mid-March. At that time, corona infection rates were skyrocketing worldwide, especially in Spain. The Spanish health system was on the verge of collapse. The government had declared a state of emergency.

Shortly before, Jose had received a call from the Red Cross: He was to come to Madrid to set up and run the Corona operation center with other helpers. For one month he volunteered to support the Red Cross as a crisis manager, working 12-hour shifts.

"We were a team of 15 people who had to coordinate 17 regions with different problems and very individual approaches to solving them. New tasks were added every day. The biggest challenge was to get all the relevant information quickly," says Jose. He was responsible for coordinating all the management areas within the operations centre: from logistics, to sanitation, accommodation, psychosocial support and personnel. Every day he had countless video conferences and phone calls. Figures, facts, problems and their possible solutions were exchanged. One call, however, went differently. The Spanish Queen and King were on the other end of the line! The queen is the President of the Spanish Red Cross. "She asked many questions in a short time. About our work, the challenges. But she was also interested in personal matters," says Jose.

He is now back in Burgos and together with his colleagues is preparing the ramp-up of our plant there: "It's great to work for a company that supports me in doing volunteer work. Now I'm looking forward to my normal job again. And to be involved in getting the restart of our production in Burgos up and running," he concludes.

"What Jose Miguel Pleguezuelos has done is admirable. People like him, who take responsibility for themselves and others in difficult times, live our corporate values", says Isabel Diaz-Rohr, Member of the Executive Board of the BENTELER Group: "With courage, ambition and respect, we will overcome this crisis together. I would like to thank you for this."