11-Jul-2022

GFL employees win prestigious ERAC awards

GFL employees were among the 2022 award winners announced by ERAC (Emergency Response Assistance Canada). GFL’s Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, branch won the Excellence in Training and Learning award, and Jessica Kovatch, senior emergency management and contract specialist, was a recipient of the Leo Sichewski Memorial Bursary.

The ERAC awards recognize excellence in ERAC responders, teams and individuals in the emergency response field. After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, ERAC presented the 2022 awards in three categories: leadership, safety, and training and learning.

“We are honored to be awarded ERAC’s Excellence in Training and Learning award,” said Shaune Zeleny, regional manager of Specialized Services and Emergency Response for Western Canada. “I’m proud of the way our Saskatoon team responds to every incident with professionalism, skill and expertise. This award reflects the dedication and ongoing training that our entire team undertakes on an ongoing basis. It’s a team accomplishment.”

ERAC assists hundreds of oil and gas and transportation organizations with emergency preparedness and response, including emergency response plans and environmental emergency plans. The actual emergency response work is brokered out to qualified service providers like GFL.

Zeleny and his team are based at GFL’s Saskatoon liquid transfer, storage and disposal facility. The team is ready to respond 24 hours a day, seven days a week to all hazard classes and has successfully responded to road, rail and fixed facility incidents. The GFL Saskatoon response team serves as the ERAC responder for flammable liquids by rail in the region.

Kovatch is based in British Columbia. She was awarded the Leo Sichewski Memorial Bursary, which provides each winner up to CA$2,000 when they are enrolled in an educational program in safety, emergency management or first responder training. Kovatch began her ER career with a field position as an emergency responder and quickly fell in love with the industry. She is currently working on her master’s degree in disaster and emergency management at Royal Roads University’s Disaster and Emergency Management program.

“I’m thrilled to be awarded the Leo Sichewski Memorial Bursary,” Kovatch said. “Ultimately, I hope that my education will allow me to help our clients prepare for emergencies and disasters. Hopefully that effort will reduce the impact of incidents and potentially prevent future incidents from happening.”

Congratulations to Jessica Kovatch, Shaune Zeleny and the GFL Saskatoon team!

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