H2S Safety Supervisor / Air Hand
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What certifications and/or training do I need to work as an H2S Safety Supervisor/Air Hand?
2. How do I successfully apply for a job with your company?
3. What is a drivers’ abstract, and how do I obtain one?
4. Why do you require a drivers’ abstract?
5. Are there any qualifications or experiences that would give me an advantage in the hiring process?
6. Where can I find the training that I need?
7. Is it necessary to live in Fort St. John (FSJ)?
8. Do you pay for travel costs or provide transportation to FSJ?
9. Do you provide accommodations once I am in FSJ?
10. Where can I stay in FSJ?
11. What is the cost of living in FSJ?
12. Can you guarantee work if I come to FSJ?
13. Do you have busy seasons?
14. Why is the northern busy season in the middle of winter?
15. Is there any way to find out what the job prospects are before coming to FSJ?
16. How do I initiate an Interview and Orientation?
17. What does your orientation cover?
18. Where will I be working?
19. What are the work shifts like?
20. Are most of the jobs out in camps?
21. Will I stay on the same job or be moved around?
22. If my job ends, do I get put on another job right away?
23. What personal gear do I need?
24. What are the biggest challenges I will face as an H2S Safety Supervisor?
25. What are the main responsibilities of an H2S Safety Supervisor?
26. How much do you pay?
27. What do you offer in the way of benefits?
28. Why should I consider becoming an H2S Safety Supervisor?
29. Are there other H2S Air Safety companies in FSJ?
30. Is it common to experience an H2S emergency?
31. Is an H2S Safety Supervisor trained in and expected to perform rescues?
32. How common are female air hands?
33. Am I still required to complete the full orientation and OJT program if I am an experienced air hand?
34. My question is not here
Q: What certifications and/or training do I need to work as an H2S Safety Supervisor/Air Hand?
A: To work as an H2S Safety Supervisor you need to have the following tickets: H2S, WHMIS, TDG, Level One First Aid, Confined Space Rescue and PST (Petroleum Safety Training). If you have had no prior experience as an H2S Safety Supervisor, you will be required to go through our On the Job Training Program (OJT) for a minimum of 4 days, as well as the in-house orientation. For experienced Air Hands, the OJT program is modified in relation to their areas of expertise. [Top of page]
Q: How do I successfully apply for a job with your company?
A: We require a copy of your full resume, applicable tickets, and drivers' abstract. They can be emailed to
, faxed to 250-787-8839, or dropped off in person at the main office in Fort St. John (FSJ). We appreciate an email address as well as a phone number(s) where we can reach you. [Top of page]
Q: What is a drivers’ abstract, and how do I obtain one?
A: It is a record of your driving infractions and/or restrictions, and can be obtained through contacting a motor vehicle branch – eg. ICBC. (Usually free of charge) [Top of page]
Q: Why do you require a drivers’ abstract?
A: You will be operating a company vehicle, which means we need that information for insurance purposes, as well as to make sure that you are a qualified and safe driver. [Top of page]
Q: Are there any qualifications or experiences that would give me an advantage in the hiring process?
A: YES!!! Experience working on drilling and/or service rigs gives you a very strong advantage in the hiring process. [Top of page]
Q: Where can I find the training that I need?
A: Check out the Training section of this website. If you have further questions, or would like to schedule a course, you can call 1-888-413-3477, and talk to one of our Training Coordinators, or email your query to
. The Confined Space Rescue is not offered at Alpha Safety’s Training Agency, but is available through Northern Lights College and St. John’s Ambulance in FSJ. [Top of page]
Q: Is it necessary to live in Fort St. John (FSJ)?
A: No, although we do prefer to hire locally. [Top of page]
Q: Do you pay for travel costs or provide transportation to FSJ?
A: No. You are responsible for your own travel arrangements and costs. Most medics drive their own vehicle, take the bus, or fly. [Top of page]
Q: Do you provide accommodations once I am in FSJ?
A: No, unless we have requested you to come to FSJ. There are limited accommodations available once you have been hired and are either waiting for a job to start, or are between jobs. [Top of page]
Q: Where can I stay in FSJ?
A: We recommend that you book at one of the following locations before arriving, as they can be hard to find at certain times of the year. [Top of page]
Fort St John Motor Inn - 250-787-0411
10707 102 Street, Fort St John, BC V1J 5L3
Super 8 Fort St. John - 250-785-7588
9500 Alaska Road, Fort St John, BC V1J 6L5
Blue Belle Motel - 250-785-2613
9705 Alaska Road, Fort St John, BC V1J 1A4
Caravan Motel - 250-787-1191
9711 Alaska Road, Fort St John, BC V1J 1A4
Roost Motel The - 250-785-2906
9207 Alaska Road, Fort St John, BC V1J 1A2
The Alexander Mackenzie Inn - 250-785-8364
9223 100 Street, Fort St John, BC V1J 3X3
Best Western Coachman Inn - 250-787-0651
8540 Alaska Road, Fort St John, BC V1J 5L6
Condill Hotel - 250-787-3084
10119 100 Avenue, Fort St John, BC V1J 1Y7
Econo Lodge - 250-787-8475
10419 Alaska Road, Fort St John, BC V1J 1B1
Esta Villa Motel - 250-785-6777
9603 Alaska Road, Fort St John, BC V1J 1A4
Four Seasons Motor Inn - 250-785-6647
9810 100 Street, Fort St John, BC V1J 3Y1
Hotel St. John - 250-787-7766
10024 100 Avenue, Fort St John, BC V1J 1Y6
Lakeview Inn & Suites - 250-787-0779
Fort St John, BC V1J 1P8
Northwoods Inn - 250-787-1616
10627 Alaska Road, Fort St John, BC V1J 5P4
Pomeroy Inn & Suites Fort St John - 250-262-3030
9304 Alaska Rd, Fort St John, BC V1J 6L5
Quality Inn Northern Grand Hotel - 250-787-0521
9830 100 Avenue, Fort St John, BC V1J 1Y5
Corner R V & Campsite - 250-785-4218
8428 Alaska Road, Fort St John, BC V1J 5L6
[Top of page]
Q: What is the cost of living in FSJ?
A: The cost of living in Fort St. John is higher than some areas of British Columbia. However, full time residents are eligible for a Northern Living Allowance from the Federal Government. Check where you have your taxes prepared or with CCRA for details. [Top of page]
Q: Can you guarantee work if I come to FSJ?
A: NO! We are rarely able to guarantee work. [Top of page]
Q: Do you have busy seasons?
A: Yes. Our busiest time of year in the North is usually from Nov/Dec – March/April. [Top of page]
Q: Why is the northern busy season in the middle of winter?
A: There is a lot of swampy ground (muskeg) in Northern BC that makes driving to/from and maintaining work sites very difficult or even impossible when the ground is not frozen. During the summer there is some drying that allows work to progress in limited areas. As you can see, nature plays a big part in deciding when a season starts, and how long it will last! [Top of page]
Q: Is there any way to find out what the job prospects are before coming to FSJ?
A: Yes. You can contact HR either through email:
, or phone: 1-888-413-3477 for an update. We actually recommend that prospective employees do this, as work fluctuates rapidly in this industry. [Top of page]
Q: How do I initiate an Interview and Orientation?
A: Interviews are conducted by either HR or Dispatch, and are done on location in FSJ, or over the phone as necessary. We do require all relevant information including a full resume, tickets and drivers' abstract. Once we have your information, either by email, fax or by person, you can request an interview. If someone is available your request may be honored immediately, or an interview will be scheduled and you will be notified of the time and place.
Orientations are conducted by Dispatch at Alpha Safety’s shop in FSJ, and are by appointment only. [Top of page]
Q: What does your Orientation cover?
A: Our orientation is comprised of two parts - written and practical. We have materials that you are required to read, with forms for you to fill out that provide us with pertinent information about you.
You will also be given a copy of our Safety Manual and a multiple choice test to cover your knowledge in important safety areas.
A copy of your Tickets and Drivers’ License will be made for Personnel Records, if we do not have them already. You may also be given a short Aptitude Test.
If you do not have the required tickets Alpha Safety will cover the cost of your courses, with the understanding that you stay employed with Alpha for a minimum of three months. Otherwise the cost will be taken off your last paycheque.
The practical element of our orientation involves a detailed tour of our vehicles and trailers and air safety equipment, and a review of protocols and procedures, including instruction on how to fill out required forms.
THIS IS THE TIME TO ASK QUESTIONS! It can be very difficult to deal with issues once you are out in the Field, so please, if there is ANYTHING you are unsure about, ASK!
When on the job training is necessary, you will be required to go out with an experienced H2S Safety Supervisor until we are satisfied that you are competent in your role. NOTE: The new employee will be paid a portion of the regular starting wage for each shift worked during the course of the program.
Once the orientation and OJT have been completed, and the new employee is ready to start working on their own, they will be assigned jobs in relation to their level of experience and competence. IE: You may be assigned night shifts where there is less responsibility at first or to a job where we can be assured of honest feedback from the consultant on how well duties are being carried out. Once you have proven that you have the experience and skills necessary to perform your job well under every circumstance you will be given increasingly more responsible jobs.
The same goes with your driving skills- we may give you some instruction and practical experience before sending you out, or we may limit your jobs to nearby sites until we are confident that you are able to handle the extreme driving conditions that are often encountered. [Top of page]
Q: Where will I be working?
A: Most of our jobs are in Northern BC and the Arctic, with some crossing over into Northern Alberta. [Top of page]
Q: What are the work shifts like?
A: The average job lasts 7-10 days. If Dispatch observes that an air hand is starting to burn out, they may switch them out at any time, for as long as they feel is necessary. An air hand may also request time off, and we try to accommodate this as best we can. Each workday is usually 12 hours. [Top of page]
Q: Are most of the jobs out in camps?
A: No. With most jobs you are back in FSJ or Fort Nelson after every shift, but there are some jobs where you will be staying in camps. [Top of page]
Q: Will I stay on the same job or be moved around?
A: Once you are sent to a jobsite you will usually stay on until that job is finished. Exceptions are if you request a change, or if there are problems between you and the consultant or others on the jobsite, or if Dispatch feels that you need a break. Sometimes Dispatch will initiate a move to another jobsite for other reasons, such as to allow the air hand to gain experience on different rigs, and it is entirely within their discretion to do so. [Top of page]
Q: If my job ends, do I get put on another job right away?
A: Usually, in the busy season, you will stay working quite steadily, but jobs are allocated by seniority. [Top of page]
Q: What personal gear do I need?
A: You will need warm winter clothes, a winter jacket (temperatures can get colder than -50 degrees Celsius with the wind chill); winter gloves, hard hat and fire retardant liner, safety glasses and steel toed insulated boots. We provide fire resistant coveralls. [Top of page]
Q: What are the biggest challenges I will face as an H2S Safety Supervisor?
A: Probably the biggest challenge is gaining the confidence of the consultant and crew on the job site. They need to trust that you know your job well, and that you could competently command a situation should an emergency occur. Their lives are in your hands! [Top of page]
Another big challenge is driving and navigating to and from your work site. Driving conditions often include slippery roads (ice or mud), low visibility (blowing snow or fog), and high winds. Some roads are gravel and are not always well maintained, and often four wheel drive is needed. Occasionally you may be required to use chains for traction. Finding your way to the work site can be challenging as there are few landmarks and roads are often unmarked. Directions will often require keeping track of kilometers and compass bearing. An example would be: “travel north on the Alaska Highway to High Line Rd East... Take the turnoff for 5.2 km, then turn north onto the 319 access road for 36 km... Turn east at 36 km for another 16.5 km, then go south for 2.2 km. until you reach Blakely Camp.”
We do have check-in protocols when our air hands are traveling, and there is always communication open between the air hand and dispatcher to deal with any situation that may arise. [Top of page]
Q: What are the main responsibilities of an H2S Safety Supervisor?
A: Your main responsibilities are: to make sure that regulations regarding safety are known (safety meetings) and are being followed (OHS&E), to monitor air quality, to judge when PPE is needed, and to deal with H2S emergencies when they arise. [Top of page]
Q: How much do you pay?
A: Alpha Safety Ltd. provides a competitive wage, with a graduated pay scale based on skills and experience. This is reviewed every three months for new employees. We pay for a full twelve hour shift even if you end up working only part of a shift. We do not require air hands to clean their truck and trailer at the end of a job, unless there is time to do so during their regular shift. For more exact info on wages, you can contact our HR office at 1-888-413-3477.
NOTE: During our OJT Program, the new employee earns a portion of the regular starting wage each shift. [Top of page]
Q: What do you offer in the way of benefits?
A: We do not offer hard benefits such as medical or dental as the H2S Safety Supervisor position is not considered as full time employment. However, we do have much to offer in the way of soft benefits:
Flexibility- we work very hard to accommodate our employee’s lives outside of work. If you need time off, have a family emergency, or just prefer to work a certain schedule, we do our best to facilitate this.
Family Support- the oil patch is known as being hard on families, as there are usually long periods of separation involved. We have found that an employee who has strong spousal and/or family support does a better job and is more likely to seek repeat employment with us than an employee who has troubled, little, or no support from home. As a result we provide our air hands – when they are required to be out in camps for extended periods of time- with 500 free cell phone minutes/month to help them stay in contact with family and friends.
24 Hour Supervisor Contact- our dispatchers are available day or night to our employees in the field to give advice, resolve issues, and even for impromptu counselling, as the case may be at times! The health and welfare – physical and mental – of our employees is a high priority.
Advancement and Training Opportunities- we are constantly amazed by the talents and skills that our medics possess outside of their job description with us! We always look within the company first to fill any position that comes open, and because we are always growing and expanding, new employment opportunities come open quite often.
As we have three different divisions within our company, we are able to provide a wide range of employment, from instructors and office staff to shop hands, air safety personnel and medics. There are also opportunities to find employment in sales and supervisory positions, especially as we expand further into the North.
We have a lot of crossover in the company as employees try out different positions until they find one that suits their personalities and abilities, and we like to encourage this!
Inspirational Encouragement- Alpha Safety is a Christian company that respects and values people from all walks of life. Our business is built on biblical principles that demand high ethical business practices, and is the basis of our emphasis on relationships. Alpha Safety started the first Canadian Chapter of the International Christian Chamber of Commerce (ICCC), and participates in partnerships with other Christian businesses all over the globe. Alpha has a strong mandate to support third world countries through business, and always has several projects on the go, as well as being involved with local initiatives such as the SCARS Addictions Rehab Center in FSJ.
While we do provide opportunities for Christian interaction and fellowship, we employ many who are otherwise oriented, or who have no interest in the subject at all. Often while people may not agree with our faith, they are attracted to the safe and caring atmosphere that we feel is a natural result.
Family Culture- Alpha Safety began as an actual family company, and has retained that culture over the years. To us family is about valuing and caring for people, and building relationships that last. We encourage a wholesome and supportive environment within our company.
Quality Equipment and Facilities- All our vehicles are modern 4x4 trucks and trailers, and our equipment and supplies are top of the line. Our shop in FSJ houses offices, a classroom, a repair and fabricating bay, a wash bay and more. The main office and training center are centrally located in FSJ.
We also have an office, training center and shop in Fort Nelson on a smaller scale. [Top of page]
Q: Why should I consider becoming an H2S Safety Supervisor?
A: H2S Safety Supervision is a challenging occupation that requires skill, character and responsibility. It is a safety service position in the Oil & Gas Industry, but unlike many other safety service positions, being an air hand allows you to become a member of the team of workers on the job site. How well you carry out your duties, including holding safety meetings, monitoring air quality, making judgment calls and supervising rescues, can mean life or death to those on your work site. It is a hands-on job that requires good communication skills, a team player attitude, and a strong sense of responsibility.
It is also less demanding physically than a lot of other Oil & Gas Industry positions.
Another thing to consider is that the pool of H2S Safety Supervisors that employers have to pick from is much smaller than in others in the safety service industry, which makes you more employable. [Top of page]
Q: Are there other H2S Air Safety companies in FSJ?
A: Yes, there are several. [Top of page]
Q: Is it common to experience an H2S emergency?
A: No. The H2S Safety course required of workers before entering the oil patch has greatly increased awareness, and this, along with strictly enforced OHS&E policies, has made H2S emergencies very rare. [Top of page]
Q: Is an H2S Safety Supervisor trained in and expected to perform rescues?
A: Air hands are trained in “Man Down” Drills, and are expected to supervise rescues. [Top of page]
Q: How common are female air hands?
A: Female air hands are becoming more common, and generally are accepted on the basis of their capability to perform their duties. Physical fitness (ability to drag-rescue a heavy victim) and strength of character (a team player that can also take charge when necessary) are two important qualities that are required in all H2S Safety Supervisors. [Top of page]
Q: Am I still required to complete the full orientation and OJT program if I am an experienced air hand?
A: The orientation and OJT program will be modified to your level of experience and capabilities.
NOTE: Extensive back ground checks will be performed before accepting claims to prior experience. [Top of page]
MY QUESTION IS NOT HERE
If your question has not been answered feel free to send an inquiry from our Contact Us page