MAINTENANCE MANIA participant and fairgrounds maintenance employee Casey Carman, of Cool, sits in a skid steer, one of the pieces of equipment used in the training session at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds on March 13. Democrat photo by Shelly Thorene


Maintenance Mania hits county

By From page A3 | March 26, 2014

Maintenance Mania hit Placerville in March as fair employees from throughout the state visited Placerville for a three-day safety and training event.

Held at the El Dorado El Dorado County Fairgrounds, the annual event offers classroom and hands-on instruction for maintenance and service workers who help keep fairs running smoothly throughout the year.

John Marino, who is a maintenance supervisor for the El Dorado County Fair Association, said Maintenance Mania is rotated to different fairgrounds throughout the state and just happened to be held in Placerville this year.

About 100 workers were at the event which covered classroom instruction on topics such as how to solve electrical, plumbing, heating and air system problems as well as time management, janitorial training and how to map aging infrastructure. Lay instructors provided the training with participants receiving a certificate of participation at the end of the class.

Attendees also had a chance to become OSHA certified or recertified on different classes of forklifts, an aerial lift, front end loader, skid steers and backhoe.

To see how well they had mastered their subjects, instruction was followed by skill challenges using the different pieces of equipment.

Marino said the training is designed to cover the real life kinds of maintenance issues that arise on fairgrounds which are typically used year round.

Networking and sharing ideas on common problems is another reason people like to attend.

Jose Delara, a maintenance worker who’s worked for the Orange County Fairgrounds for 10 years, said he’s been to six or seven of these training events.

“It’s a way to learn more,” he said. “How to do electrical, plumbing, drive forklifts. We really need it more often.”

Because he has to use an aerial lift himself to hang banners and other items, he said the classes serve as a yearly reminder of safety procedures to follow. “They prevent you from killing yourself,” he laughed. “There are lots of hazards in this work, like falling out of the aerial lift and not keeping a certain distance from electrical lines. This is for preventing accidents and being safe.”

Delara said the safety training is also used to make sure that no fair goer is hurt during an event. That’s no small job where he works because when the Orange County Fair is underway, it hosts 80,000 people a day.

Saying he passes on what he has learned to other workers, Delara said he uses the training in his personal life as well as the classes have taught him how to fix plumbing, repair walls and do some simple carpentry.

“I’m so glad we have this program,” he said. “I never tired of the new things I learn. I would recommend it to anyone.”

Contact Dawn Hodson at 530-344-5071 or [email protected] Follow @DHodsonMtDemo on Twitter.

Dawn Hodson

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