Creating an emergency operations centre

Grant Smith

The creation of the COVID-19 Emergency Operations Centre at the Hidden Valley Motorsports complex was a mammoth task – and yet it took only four days, thanks to public servants, contractors, suppliers and volunteers. Two people in the thick of it were Grant Smith and Tony Berrill, from the electrical section of Urgent Minor Repairs and Minor Works for DIPL.

“There are a lot of people who were involved, too many to be named, and we all worked exceptionally hard and put in a lot of time and effort on days off and after hours to pull it all together,” Grant said. “I really appreciated the contractors as they went above and beyond to do the work so quickly while socially distancing.”

The project involved setting up 44 new workspaces and complying with COVID-19 regulations, Australian Standards and Building Code of Australia.  The building was re-certified, with a new certificate of occupancy issued.

“It was very stressful trying to make sure the works were done safely while adhering to the new COVID regulations, so no one was bringing COVID home to their families,” Grant said. “And while everyone was panic buying toilet paper, we were panic buying desk lamps so lighting levels met the standards!”

Grant said he was proud of what everyone had achieved.

“Industry was amazing – contractors called in personal favours to get to wholesalers after hours to help with the logistics,” he said.

“It was great that our technical expertise was recognised, and everyone’s suggestions and solutions were respected as equals.

“Despite all ranks being there, like the Chief Medical Officer and the Police Commissioner, we were all working at the same level, for the same outcomes.”

Emergency operation centre

Last updated: 13 July 2020

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