I am the I in IWK – Matthew Baglole

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Matthew Baglole is an electrician with the IWK Maintenance department. Baglole joined the team two years ago when he returned home to Nova Scotia from working in the oil fields of Alberta.

While Baglole’s role is mainly behind the scenes, he quickly became the centre of attention last December when the IWK Women’s Building suddenly lost all power.

“When I got here, it was like something out of a movie, the whole building was black,” says Baglole. “I don’t think it’s ever happened here before.”

It was luck-of-the-draw that he was the one to pick-up the call when the outage happened, a call that led to an approximate 36 hour shift including an overnight stay. “I say I slept here but there wasn’t much sleep,” says Baglole, saying he couldn’t shake the worry of the power going again.

Despite the then mysterious cause of the blackout, Baglole and the team were able to have the power back up and running within three hours after the outage.

“It was really a team effort,” Baglole points out. He accredits the collaborative effort of the maintenance team and the incredible preparedness of the clinic staff that got everyone through the blackout safely.

Since then, there have been two planned power outages to safely correct the original maintenance issues. With having gone through this ‘crash course’ in emergency preparedness, Baglole got to learn more than ever about the systems and service in the hospital. He says the experience of the blackout was eye-opening to the importance of maintaining the infrastructure and how well the IWK teams work together.

There may be a stark difference between working for oil and gas to impacting patients every day, but Baglole believes his time at the IWK has been a great experience so far.

“It’s nice to feel like you’re making a difference to the kids,” says Baglole. “Even just recently we had a chiller go down in MRI and the little kids are waiting on you to fix the machine so they can continue on.”

The long days of on-the-fly problem solving and troubleshooting have paid off as off the end of April with the final outage. With all the planned shutdowns now complete, Baglole and the rest of the maintenance team can breathe a little easier knowing the new power system is now fully operational.