Same skills different team

Two men standing in a hospital room with new equipment
Campus Facilities Manager Bill and Facility Supervisor Paul Salis in a revamped ward at Fremantle Hospital
May 28, 2020

An unlikely cross-over between professional sport and healthcare has seen Fremantle Docker’s Property Manager, Paul Salis, play an integral role in Fremantle Hospital’s preparations for the COVID-19 pandemic.

For 17 years Paul has been responsible for managing the storage and transport of the team’s equipment as they travel between states throughout the football season.

With the AFL season delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Paul’s skills in contract liaison and logistics management did not go to waste.

He was quickly enlisted by Fremantle Hospital’s Engineering Department to assist with COVID-19 preparations, including re-establishing three wards (50 beds) in just 10 days.

Although a hospital is a world apart from working at a football club, Paul discovered similarities between the two in the strong sense of teamwork at both workplaces.

“It’s a pretty tight-knit group at the Dockers and there’s a very passionate group here too when it comes to the hospital. There is a strong sense of ownership,” Paul said.

“I really enjoyed working to help Fremantle Hospital prepare, it was a valuable experience.”

Fremantle Campus Facilities Manager Bill Clark said the extra help was vital.

“There are many components and contracts involved – everything from infrastructure, electrical and carpentry needs, to smaller details like sourcing wall brackets to hold face masks,” Bill said.

“It’s not just a case of filling the ward with equipment and switching the lights on, we also have to make sure the area meets occupational safety and infection prevention standards in order to care for patients safely.”

Thanks to Bill, Paul and the rest of the Engineering Department, Fremantle Hospital stands ready to care for a potential surge of sick patients in WA.