Volume 60  |  Spring 2009

Letter From Doug Sowers, Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center:

In keeping with our theme for the Semi-annual; here are a few thoughts on Staff Training to support your utility systems. As engineers we tend to focus on equipment; it’s condition, preventative maintenance issues, and performance capabilities. We write PM’s, Policies and Procedures and even Action Plans. However we tend to give less attention to the human element. Unfortunately, all our preplanning has little value when that emergency occurs, if our staff cannot carry out these plans.
The answer of course, is Training. Now I’m sure you all have some training in place, but here is a couple of ideas you may not be using.

  • Consider training your staff in the use and interpretation of your One-line Electrical drawings.
  • Write a quiz on the drawings, given annually, causing them to practice their training.
  • When training, require each staff member to perform the task. Simulate a real event. You are only as prepared as the ability of your weakest staff member.
  • Train everyone!! When the emergency occurs that “Key person” might not be there.
  • Train on the ancillary equipment. That generator is not going to run if the fuel system fails.

Of course the list goes on, you get the idea. If you have questions or some ideas of you own to share feel free to contact me.

Doug Sowers
Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center


The WSSHE NEWSLINE is published quarterly as a service to WSSHE Members. The purpose of the NEWSLINE is to promote the Society by sharing information of interest to the Members. Please send brief articles or information updates to the WSSHE Editor care of:

Geoffrey W. Glass PE, CHFM
Providence St. Peter Hospital
413 Lilly Road
Olympia, WA 98506-5166
FAX: 360-493-4043
Phone: 360-493-7722.