In 2022, 4Seasons Health & Safety Manager, Christine Groulx was named Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA)’s Safety Person of the Year. As part of her recognition, the AMTA published a member profile in the 2022 Winter Edition of Western Canada Highway News! Below are excerpts from her feature in the magazine. Click here to read the full interview on page 40!
Transportation is about getting cargo from point A to point B. But it’s not quite that simple; it requires a special type of skillset and a special type of person depending on the cargo, form of transport, and conditions. For Christine Groulx, Health and Safety Manager at 4Seasons Transportation, compassion, safety knowledge, and consistent self-growth are key to the work she does.
Christine Groulx started in the transportation industry in 1992. She had her Class 2 license and drove a bus for several years before having two children. As her children grew, she ran a daycare before returning to the transportation industry as a school bus driver for 4Seasons, an organization dedicated to the safe transport of students with disabilities in Calgary and the surrounding areas. She moved to a supervisory position not long after that and was eventually asked to take on a role as Health and Safety Officer.
Knowing the role’s importance, she focused on gaining the credentials she needed with the Alberta Association for Safety Partnerships. Now, she is a qualified Health and Safety Officer and Internal Auditor and works as 4Seasons’ Health and Safety Manager.
For 20 years, 4Seasons Transportation has carried students living with disabilities to school in a safe, calm, and compassionate way. In doing so, the company has proven that people with cognitive, physical and behavioural challenges can be accommodated with safe and reliable transportation.
“The biggest (and most important) thing I can say about 4Seasons is that I work with a team of individuals who are totally dedicated to the safe transport of students with disabilities in Calgary and the surrounding area,” says Christine. “This amazing team of individuals support each other and collaborate together – our opinions matter. We express ourselves openly, and we create solutions for all individuals involved. We are a very tight-knit group.”
In 2022, Christine was nominated by peers and selected by the AMTA as Safety Person of the Year. “It’s such an honour, I can’t explain in words,” she says. “It’s not only a personal honour but an honour for the company.”
One of the things Christine loves about the industry is the people she interacts with from day to day.
“The different backgrounds of people we have here interacting with schools and with students – that’s what makes it rewarding. That’s what gives me joy,” Christine says. “At the end of a rough day, I’m never sorry I’m here. I love the people and their stories. They look to me for advice, and sometimes they teach me a few tricks too.”
It’s not just the people she meets in her job that helps Christine keep her momentum within the industry, nor is it a job title or monetary gain. It’s the self-awareness and self-growth she has received from working at 4Seasons Transportation.
“We all have our strengths and our weaknesses,” Christine states. “Working here, I’m maximizing my strengths and minimizing weaknesses. I’m opening up about who I am and being who I am. Being true to myself is a major opportunity for growth and contentment, and I’m excited to go to work every day. That’s more important for me than anything else.”
Christine recognizes the challenges transportation companies are still experiencing post-COVID-19, particularly the shortage of employees. At 4Seasons Transportation, it’s taken some creativity to adapt to the times while retaining employees.
“Keeping school bus drivers and attendants involved is crucial,” she says. “We do creative things to keep people involved. We award them for excellent driving habits and customer service, and we have events to gather and celebrate. Our doors are open to those looking for meaningful work, and we have incentives for newly hired employees. There’s a gamut of opportunities here for all employees, and we have a lot to offer!”
For those considering entering the transportation industry, Christine recommends that they take ownership of the role and the high degree of importance there is when you’re sitting behind the wheel, especially if you’re trusted with the lives of children. She says to take pride in what you do, do everything to the best of your abilities, and be open to mentorship, support, constructive criticism, and collaboration with peers.
“It takes someone with a big heart and willing to give themselves to the safety of the general public,” she says. “And it takes a dedicated individual, especially here at 4Seasons, to drive our kiddos.”
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