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Whenever I am asked what I do for work and respond with “I’m a Critical Facilities Technician at a data center,” I get confused looks and asked, “What does that entail?” Critical Facility Technicians are typically responsible for all aspects of Data Center Operations related to critical and non-critical infrastructure, equipment, and systems. Here is a summary of what we encounter on the job every day.
Critical Facilities Technicians go by many different titles, depending on the organization, and maintain the data center’s infrastructure on a more granular level. We maintain everything from the main switchgear, generators, and chillers to lighting panels, motors, and variable-air volume terminals. Along with maintaining equipment throughout the facility, Critical Facilities Technicians also have administrative duties such as creating work orders, maintaining Lockout/Tagout Record, and conducting a Job Hazard Analysis to name a few. Operations within a Data Center are detail oriented. In a dynamic critical environment, the responsibilities of a Critical Facilities Technician can change from shift to shift or at any time.
Shifts start with a structured and documented shift turnover, where the off going Critical Facilities Technicians discuss with the oncoming Critical Facilities Technicians what happened during their shift. Everything from maintenance performed to any issues that were encountered during the shift and expectations for the upcoming shift are discussed. During a shift, Critical Facilities Technicians conduct routine facility rounds to ensure all equipment is operating properly and within specifications. They also oversee the Building Monitoring System (BMS) and the Electric Plant Monitoring System (EPMS) to ensure all systems are operating normally and wary of any alarms that may occur; always prepared to quickly respond to any issues and escalate as applicable. In addition, technicians must complete maintenance items during shifts, or escort contractors so that they can complete their tasks throughout the facility. Critical Facilities Technicians must be flexible and able to multi-task due to ever-changing schedules and demands.
Being a Critical Facilities Technician entails using the expert skills of a mechanic, electrician, and an operator all at the same time. Critical Facilities Technicians are required to make critical time-sensitive decisions within a moment’s notice; they must be able to back out of a procedure quickly and efficiently put that system back into a safe operating condition remaining ready to respond to a problem with another critical system. Understanding how all the different critical and non-critical systems correlate and interact with one another is just another example of working in a critical environment. A day in the life of a Critical Facilities Technician can be challenging, exciting, and ever-changing.
Interested in becoming a Critical Facilities Technician for T5 Data Centers? Contact us for an exciting and fulfilling career using the link below.