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GFL’s Emergency Response goes beyond the field

The words “emergency response” may evoke a picture of workers in hazmat suits attending incidents from oil spills to train derailments. No matter how these events begin, GFL’s on-site responders enter every emergency, regardless of scale, with a level of knowledge and professionalism that is the backbone of the company’s success in the ER space.

Meet three of our ER professionals who contribute their unique skills to GFL’s ER team:

Jessica Cain is a senior emergency management and contract specialist who’s based on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. She holds a master’s degree in disaster and emergency management and a Bachelor of Science in chemistry. In 2022 she was a recipient of the prestigious Leo Sichewski Memorial Bursary presented by Emergency Response Assistance Canada (ERAC).

When a new customer comes onboard, Cain collects information about the customer’s site, the products or hazardous waste they house, their containment systems and response capabilities in an emergency so she can ensure they have an effective emergency response program that meets both regulatory requirements and the customer’s needs. All of this information is critical to the development of the service agreement, which ensures GFL is equipped to excel on behalf of our customer in every element of the response.

“I either help create programs or update existing programs,” Cain said. “Some of our customers have emergency management programs already in place. If that’s the case, I help update their programs to reflect GFL as their emergency response contractor and to showcase our capabilities in how we would respond to a hazardous materials spill or emergency for them.”

Cain establishes what the customer’s expectations and needs are, so that when it’s time to respond, the ER team can meet those expectations and needs seamlessly.

“We want to make sure that we build a relationship with the customer before an emergency happens,” Cain said. “I find it extremely satisfying to help make our customers’ lives easier by managing things efficiently, to be the calm in the chaos when our team responds to an incident.”

Trudy Case is a senior project manager in Kitchener, Ontario, with a background in construction estimating and project management.

When the ER team responds to a large spill in Ontario, Case becomes involved immediately and plays an important communications and organizational role.

“I organize needs for the cleanup with the ER managers, communicate with Ontario’s Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks consultants, and customers,” Case said. “I take care of the communications, as well as prepare the invoicing and track the job’s progress.”

Case is prepared to respond at any time of the day or night and visit the site herself.

“I enjoy the adrenalin of the spill response and having to get everything sorted and organized quickly to respond effectively,” Case said.

Sandra Piccinini is a business development manager in Terrebonne, Quebec, where she provides GFL’s customers with exemplary service.

“My role is in customer relations and everything related to providing customers with the service required, whether it be for an emergency response, a follow-up, or to continue to nurture that relationship,” Piccinini said.

When the ER team responds to an incident, Sandra prepares a cost summary for the customer so they are aware of what’s expected when mitigating the damages and protecting the local environment. Through GFL’s dispatcher, she conveys this information to the ER members on site who require it and helps support the team internally. Piccinini also attends on site to gather information.

Piccinini keeps track of every little detail so that when the job is finalized, everything the ER team does can be itemized, invoiced and explained to the customer. She is the contact person for all follow-up with the customer related to payment or structuring of the accounts receivable.

“It’s satisfying to know that we’re able to help create a solution for a customer in need,” Piccinini said.

Piccinini, Case and Cain all love the variety of situations involved in ER work that allow them to increase their knowledge and learn new things.

“It doesn't matter how long you're in this industry, no two incidents are alike,” Piccinini said.

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