A few years ago, Alex DiGiacomo, supervisor of facilities management, was asked to come to the emergency department with a hacksaw and other tools. A young child’s finger had been stuck in an interior door lock at home. Rescue squad members cut out the section of the door with the lock and brought in the child with the lock still attached to the finger. But the emergency room doctors and nurses couldn’t get the lock and piece of door off the screaming child’s finger.
DiGiacomo’s quick thinking and understanding of lock mechanics provided an easy solution that didn’t involve sawing or delay. DiGiacomo inserted a long, large needle into the lock next to the child’s finger and released the lock. The youngster’s finger was fine, and the emergency department staff were amazed and grateful.
The staff of Facilities Management has to be ready to jump in and help in a wide variety of situations. They are independent thinkers and leaders who have a knowledge and understanding of more than 1.5 million square feet of buildings and all of the hospital’s systems and equipment.
This crew might be called in to check power outages or clear snow. In fact, more than two years ago during the large snowstorm, the linen delivery truck was stuck on the exit ramp of I-64. With the hospital running out of sheets, towels and gowns, DiGiacomo and Tom Berry, the hospital’s director of emergency management, secured a tow truck and plow from the state and helped pull the truck out. Later, DiGiacomo even went onto the roof of the Primary Care Center to clear off snow that was leaking in.
The Facilities Management staff works hard to keep the hospital running smoothly, no matter what the situation.