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Maintenance and Training
June 9, 2010 -
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I'm Dan Hounsell, editor of Maintenance Solutions magazine. Today’s topic is maintenance and training.
Buildings evolve, technology advances, and maintenance and engineering technicians have to keep pace. Organizations can tap into a variety of tools to train front-line technicians, but no matter the method, three managers agree: Properly maintaining key systems and components starts with education and training.
Don Rust, assistant director of engineering and operations with Duke University Medical Center, stresses training on codes and regulations.
"For (front-line technicians) to become senior (technicians), they have to have a certified state license in whatever trade they're working in. They're going to have the code knowledge. In developing code knowledge, they develop certain skill knowledge. They only get into specifics about what our buildings require in the way of equipment. A lot of times, that's equipment manufacturers that are providing that training. The other things that come up because of the codes and regulations that govern what we do in certain areas, they're really critical. They have to have a wide range of knowledge."
Neal Pearson, director of engineering with Children's Hospital Central California in Madera, Calif., emphasizes the need for free training.
"We use a variety. We take advantage of those workshops that are especially provided free of charge by our local vendors or manufacturers. When purchasing new equipment, we also write into the contract to include staff training. We take advantage of the Internet and do a lot more on-site training than we used to. We used to do a lot more off-site training than we do now. That does save money."
Finally, Rod Allen, system director of plant operations with Lee Memorial Health System in Fort Myers, Fla., turns first to manufacturers of equipment.
"Manufacturers and vendors have always been our first go-to folks. But recently, the online resources are fast becoming our go-to resource. The educational training budget is usually the first thing cut when things start to get tight. We're required to do the training but at a more economical cost. That's why we're moving more toward the online training."