At Coastal GasLink, we continually strive to meet the highest standards to protect the health and safety of every worker, their families and surrounding communities. Our team of medical professionals, led by International SOS, is helping us fulfil this commitment every step of the way.
Meet Rene Schoonderbeek and Tyler Guitard, two longtime paramedics, who are focused on ensuring our team has access to 24/7 medical care and advice. They're among a team of medics with a fleet of mobile clinics deployed all the way across the 670-kilometre corridor. In addition to medical resources on the ground, we have also brought on board B.C.-based Iridia Medical’s Dr. Allan Holmes who is helping us to up our game in the fight against COVID-19.
From left to right: Michael Taylor, Rene Schoonderbeek, and Tyler Guitard review medical plans at the International SOS yard in Prince George.
International SOS’ presence on-site also means that Coastal GasLink workers do not have to go through a local emergency department or medical clinic, unless absolutely necessary, and are able to get prescriptions from the nurse practitioner stationed at every workforce lodge.
“Our medics are stationed all along the way, depending on where the jobs are and what they're doing. If they're cutting trees or if they're welding, we'll have medics stationed there with mobile clinics that are stocked with everything from basic first aid supplies, to lifesaving equipment such as defibrillators,” stated Schoonderbeek, Operations Director with International SOS.
Rene Schoonderbeek, International SOS Operations Director
COVID-19 has brought a new set of obstacles, and International SOS’ team of experts and medical staff were quick to implement enhanced procedures to help prevent the spread of the virus and help keep everyone – from our field crews, to their families and surrounding Indigenous and local communities – healthy and safe.
“We're doing everything that's possible to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. We’ve made improvements so that we can be successful going forward,” continued Schoonderbeek.
“It’s imperative that we have the proper procedures and policies in place for the workforce. We have all the safety measures ready to go in case someone [presents] with these symptoms. We know what is going on, what steps to follow, and how to execute that plan accordingly,” added Guitard, Lead Paramedic (Vanderhoof), International SOS.
International SOS’ role is especially important now as Coastal GasLink plans to welcome back additional workers over the coming weeks. With approval from B.C.’s Public Health Officer and Northern Health, a limited number of field crew will undertake critical environmental protection, safety and asset integrity activities in advance of spring thaw, which typically occurs at the end of March.