Winter 2022

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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.”

With safety being core to the company’s values (along with compassion, leadership, and adaptability), COVID-19 was a matter that 4Seasons Transportation did not take lightly. The company made safety a priority throughout the uncertainty of the times. Additionally, 4Seasons implemented policies, procedures, and practices so school bus drivers, attendants, office staff, and visitors knew what the expectations were – whether they were coming onsite or
driving a bus.

“Our first concern was PPE, which included a mask, shield, gloves, hand sanitizer, and bus sanitizing spray,” says Christine. “We used sanitization protocols approved by Alberta Health authorities to sanitize buses so school bus drivers sprayed buses after each school run and cleaned off high-touch surfaces. When we were sick, we stayed home.”

4Seasons also moved training from in-class to online and used different tools to mentor and train school bus drivers and attendants. The company continues to sanitize each school bus after each run to help “keep the kiddos healthy and safe.”

Christine credits her success to the dedication and support of her team.

“I couldn’t do what I do without the safety team,” she says. “They take care of so many behind-the-scenes things that allow me the opportunity to be in the field and meet with our school bus drivers and attendants.”

4Seasons Transportation has been an AMTA member for just over one year. Christine says AMTA members are friendly, offering their mentorship and encouragement in numerous ways.

“They’ve always just been there for me to answer any questions I had and offer support,” she says. “Their newsletter articles are fascinating and helpful, and I enjoy participating in their webinars. They’ve come to 4Seasons’ facilities a few times for tours, and when we were awarded our Partners in Compliance (PIC) membership.”

This year, Christine was nominated by peers and selected by AMTA as the Association’s 2022 Safety Person of the Year Award recipient.

“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 aspect 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 weaknesses,” Christine says. “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 commercial transportation companies are still experiencing post-COVID-19, particularly staff shortages. 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 commercial transportation industry, Christine recommends they take ownership of the role and the high degree of responsibility when one sits behind the wheel, especially if you’re entrusted with the safety 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 willingness 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.”

When not working, Christine enjoys the outdoors. She drives her RV up to the mountains with her dog to spend time in the fresh air. She likes to kayak and used to play hockey, soccer, and baseball. She loves animals and spending time with her family, her children, and grandchildren.



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