Get to know your College: Rick Tredrea, Technical Officer

Our unsung heroes: Rick Tredrea, Technical Officer ​and his colleague Dr Mohammad Asaduzzaman​, 
Technical Assistant, Paramedics

An academic staff member recently mentioned the unsung heroes in her workplace who work behind the scenes to ensure that our programs and services are offered as seamlessly as possible. Sometimes it’s easy to take for granted how well things work in the College … but there are many human elements that strive to make sure we all look professional.

This week I spoke to Rick Tredrea, the Technical Officer in Paramedics about how COVID-19 has changed the way he works, the challenges that he’s overcome and how he coped in the first few days after COVID-19 restrictions came in.

How has COVID-19 has changed the way you work?
It’s actually been very difficult at times, but given the students are not on campus, this has given Mohammad and me the time to complete a few tasks that would have been impossible during normal operations within our teaching spaces, and certainly at this time of year.

What was it like in the first two days after restrictions came in?
Surreal. Closely followed by panicked. We were not set-up for online (Collaborate) in our teaching spaces in general. We’ve had previous sessions for some topics, but they involved remote students and only limited topics. So this was a complete game changer. We spent the first few days scrambling to get headsets, webcams, various screen connectivity, and miles of cabling sorted in a hurry so that online teaching via Collaborate could begin in totality across the degree. This really displayed how well all of us can work as a cohesive team and it’s a great credit to our amazingly adaptive and super positive academic staff who all just dug deep to do what it took to get rolling.

Have you been working from home? If so, what have been your ways of coping with your usual duties?
Yes, and I have to say, I got way more done than I thought I would! That said, I do feel for the enormity of challenges that our students, particularly the first years, must have faced.

What challenges have you had to overcome as a result of the pandemic?
Fear from my family each day I got home from work: I have been under strict instructions to put all my clothes straight into the washing machine, and scrub my hands and arms in front of them. I’m looking forward to this abating. A man’s gotta have a bit of privacy!

What are you most looking forward to about returning to more regular duties?
I’m really looking forward to the buzz that comes with so many eager students on campus. Aside from that, I just want to get back into the routine, and concentrate on getting the job done really.

Any other observations? 
On a personal level, we have an amazing team here at Paramedics. The support from the academic staff has been nothing short of superhuman, and the positive push to just get on with it has been so evident. We’re here to support each other and we all have a common goal: providing the best learning environment for our students.

That’s my colleague Mohammad in the photo with me – he has been great and I have a lot to thank him for: he’s been there when I couldn’t, taking care of business, being professional and accommodating and getting the work done behind the scenes.

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