Medic Field Employee
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What certifications or training do I need to work as a medic in the field?
2. What other certifications or training does WCB recognize as equivalent to the OFA Level Three?
3. How do I successfully apply for a job with your company?
4. What is a drivers’ abstract, and how do I obtain one?
5. Why do you require a drivers’ abstract?
6. Are there any qualifications or experiences that would give me an advantage in the hiring process?
7. Where can I find the training that I need?
8. Do I need a Class 4 Drivers License?
9. Can I work as a medic if my license has an N (new driver)?
10. Is it necessary to live in Fort St. John (FSJ)?
11. If I am not living in BC, can I take my training locally?
12. Do you pay for travel costs or provide transportation to FSJ?
13. Do you provide accommodations once I am in FSJ?
14. Where can I stay in FSJ?
15. What is the cost of living in FSJ?
16. Can you guarantee work if I come to FSJ?
17. Do you have busy seasons?
18. Why is the northern busy season in the middle of winter?
19. Is there any way to find out what the job prospects are before coming to FSJ?
20. How do I initiate an Interview and Orientation?
21. Am I considered hired once I have been through the Interview/Orientation process?
22. What does your orientation cover?
23. Where will I be working?
24. What are the work shifts like?
25. Are most of the jobs out in camps?
26. Do I have a choice in where I will be working?
27. Will I stay on the same job or be moved around?
28. How long does a job last?
29. If my job ends, do I get put on another job right away?
30. Will I be the only medic or will I be working with other medics as well?
31. What are the camps like?
32. Will I have a room to myself?
33. Do woman get treated poorly by men in the oil patch?
34. What is the ratio of male to female medics?
35. Why do you always refer to your employees as “Medics”, instead of using the more common term of “Band-Aids”
36. What do I need to bring with me if I work as a medic in the North?
37. Are there size limitations on luggage?
38. What are the biggest challenges I will face as a medic?
39. What are the main responsibilities of a medic?
40. How much do you pay?
41. What do you offer in the way of benefits?
42. Why should I consider being a medic?
43. Why should I consider being a medic in the North?
44. Are there many first aid companies in FSJ?
45. What kind of First Aid emergencies does a medic encounter when working for your company?
46. My question is not here
Q: What certifications or training do I need to work as a medic in the field?
A: To work as a medic in the field you need to have an Occupational First Aid Level Three Ticket (or a ticket that the Workers’ Compensation Board of BC recognizes as an equivalent to the OFA Level Three), as well as your WHMIS, H2S and a valid Class 5 Drivers License. [Top of page]
Q: What other certifications or training does WCB recognize as equivalent to the OFA Level Three?
A: The EMR provincial BC license is recognized as being equivalent to an OFA Level 3. If in doubt, contact the agency in question or click here for WCB: www.worksafebc.com . You can also contact the WCB main office at 604-276-3100. [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 250-785-1896, or dropped off in person at the main office in 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!!! [Top of page]
* A First Aid ticket that is recognized in Alberta as well as BC, as this gives us more options in assigning you work.
The EMP Advanced Level Three is recognized by both provinces, and is usually the course we recommend. If you have a regular WCB OFA Level Three ticket, you should take a CPRC and AED course, as well as the Alberta Endorsement.
*Previous experience in either first aid and/or extreme winter driving conditions is a consideration in our hiring process.
*Defensive driving course, especially if you are a relatively new driver, or have a poor drivers’ abstract.
*AVAILABILITY – the number one advantage a prospective employee can have is AVAILABILITY! The very nature of medic work has a certain element of instability – jobs can start and stop without notice. This means we often get jobs where a medic is required that afternoon or the next morning. Medic careers have been won and lost on the basis of whether their cell phones were charged or not!
*Locale- if you are staying in or near FSJ, your chances of being hired are much better than if you live further away.
*Previous experience with our company – if you have worked for Alpha Safety before and have a good track record with us, we will often give you hiring preference.
*Have been through the Alpha Safety Interview/Orientation process- a prospective employee who has already been interviewed and orientated will be available to go out on a job quickly. [Top of page]
Q: Where can I find the training that I need?
A: Check out the Training section on 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
.[Top of page]
Q: Do I need a Class 4 Drivers License?
A: A Class 5 Drivers License is all you need, although we do prefer those with their Class 4, especially on forest fire jobs. [Top of page]
Q: Can I work as a medic if my license has an N (new driver)?
A: No. Driving accidents are the number one cause of injury and death in our industry, and we require a certain amount of prior driving experience before hiring new medics. [Top of page]
Q: Is it necessary to live in Fort St. John (FSJ)?
A: No. Many of our medics are from the Interior and the Lower Mainland of BC, and some even come from as far away as the Eastern Seaboard! [Top of page]
Q: If I am not living in BC, can I take my training locally?
A: This question is a little tricky – while there are many excellent courses out there, we can only hire medics if their training has been taken through an agency that has been approved by the Workers’ Compensation Board of BC.
While we know that Alberta has several approved agencies, as far as we know, there are no others anywhere else outside of BC that are WCB of BC approved.
To find out if your Training Agency is WCB approved, contact your training agency or WCB directly. We do not have this information.
If we suspect that your ticket may not be valid in BC, we will ask for proof, or research its’ validity ourselves before hiring.
NOTE: There has been at least one agency in Alberta that has charged students for a BC Crossover First Aid Ticket that supposedly allowed them to work in both Alberta and BC. IT WAS A FRAUD! If you are ever in doubt as to the validity of your ticket, contact WCB.
We recommend that you take your training in BC. [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 coming up, 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
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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 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. Medics who are not from the FSJ area have the best chance at being hired during these months. Our summer forest fire season depends entirely on the weather, and can start as early as May and can go well into September if it is a hot, dry season. [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 worksites 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 so 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. We often orientate several people at once, as the process takes several hours. [Top of page]
Q: Am I considered hired once I have been through the Interview/Orientation process?
A: No. You are not considered hired until you have a received a dispatch sheet and been sent out to a jobsite. [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.
The practical element of our orientation involves a detailed tour of our vehicles and medical supplies, 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!
If Dispatch thinks that you would benefit from on the job training, you may be requested to go out with an experienced Medic for a day or two until we are satisfied that you are comfortable with your role.
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. The exception is during the summer months when we cover forest fires in many areas across the province. [Top of page]
Q: What are the work shifts like?
A: The shifts are usually 2 -3 weeks on, with a few days off in between. If Dispatch observes that a medic is starting to burn out, they may switch them out at any time, for as long as they feel is necessary. A medic may also request time off, and we try to accommodate this as best we can. Each day is usually 12 hours. [Top of page]
Q: Are most of the jobs out in camps?
A: Yes. The majority of work will require you to stay at camps, where your room and board are taken care of. However, we do occasionally have some local jobs that require medics to travel to the jobsite and back to FSJ or Fort Nelson daily. In this case we do have limited accommodations available if needed. [Top of page]
Q: Do I have a choice in where I will be working?
A: If we know you have a preference we will take this into consideration, but ultimately Dispatch has the responsibility of juggling medics and jobs, and mostly they make their decisions based on who is available for what job. Often there is not a lot of choice, and medics need to be flexible and realize that Dispatch is required to make many on-the-spot decisions daily, and sometimes that does not allow for preferences. [Top of page]
Q: Will I stay on the same job or be moved around?
A: Once you are sent to a jobsite you may 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 medic to experience the different “stages” of the Oil and Gas Industry, like Seismic, Drilling Rig, Service Rig, etc., and it is entirely within their discretion to do so. [Top of page]
Q: How long does a job last?
A: Anywhere from one day to an entire season (several months). [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 we do keep a line- up so that jobs are allocated fairly. [Top of page]
Q: Will I be the only medic or will I be working with other medics as well?
A: You will be the only medic onsite, unless the job is running 24hrs/day in which case there would be two medics, each working an opposing shift. However, this is rare and in most cases you will be the only medic. [Top of page]
Q: What are the camps like?
A: Each camp is different, with some being hardly tolerable, and others almost luxurious (for a camp). Usually they are somewhere in between. [Top of page]
Q: Will I have a room to myself?
A: Sometimes you will, and other times you will be required to share. You will never be asked to share a room with someone of the opposite gender. [Top of page]
Q: Do woman get treated poorly by men in the oil patch?
A: While it happens to some extent, great strides in improvement have been taken in this area in recent years. Most woman have a very positive experience working for Alpha Safety, as we screen our employers carefully, and will not send someone out on a job if we feel there is a good chance that discrimination or sexual harassment will occur.
We also require professionalism on the part of our medics at all times. We believe that how a person portrays themselves is often how they are treated, and with any complaint we always look carefully at both sides of the coin.
That said, any report of discrimination or sexual harassment is taken very seriously by us, and we follow our mandated process with each case, so that every one is given equal care and attention. [Top of page]
Q: What is the ratio of male to female medics?
A: About 3:2, but this fluctuates from season to season. [Top of page]
Q: Why do you always refer to your employees as “Medics”, instead of using the more common term of “Band-Aids?”
A: Great question! It used to be that First Aid was the least respected service in the oil industry, but a growing awareness of safety in the workplace has begun to break through this old mindset.
As workers are becoming more exposed to first aid training, they are realizing how important medics are to their own personal safety on the job. There is a greater value on individual lives than there once was, and this is being reflected in peoples changing attitudes. In keeping with this change, we feel that “Band-Aid” is a derogatory term, denoting a superficial and casual profession. “Medic” properly portrays the true value of the role played by the First Aid Attendant in the Field. [Top of page]
Q: What do I need to bring with me if I work as a medic in the North?
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. [Top of page]
Q: Are there size limitations on luggage?
A: A large duffel bag is usually fine. Weight limits may apply if you are required to helicopter in to your camp, but most jobs don’t require this. [Top of page]
Q: What are the biggest challenges I will face as a medic?
A: A medic’s biggest challenge by far is driving and navigating to and from their 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 medics are traveling, and there is always communication open between the medic and dispatcher to deal with any situation that may arise.
Another challenge is keeping your mind engaged. Sometimes you may sit for days in your ETV or First Aid shack with little or no action, and little interaction with other people. Medics will often bring a stack of books, CD’s, puzzle books, etc... Some bring cameras, or their lap tops, which may or may not have internet access, depending on the location of the camp. Often medics will work on a correspondence course, or study for university courses they will be taking in the off season. Sirius or XM satellite radios are also popular as there is reception in most places.
The solutions are many, but ultimately they cannot interfere with the carrying out of Medic duties on the job.
The isolation from society experienced in remote camps can result in a condition that is commonly referred to as being “bushed.” This term describes someone who is acting irrational and agitated as a result of losing their sense of reality from being separated from the rest of civilization for too long. Our dispatchers are all experienced field medics, and are quick to pick up on the signs and to transfer medics out for a break. The length of time medics can handle out in the field varies from person to person, and is not something you can readily determine except through experience.
One way Alpha Safety works to combat this condition is by providing 500 minutes of free cell phone service per month, to every one of our medics, so that they can stay in contact with their family and friends. [Top of page]
Q: What are the main responsibilities of a medic?
A: Your main responsibilities are first and foremost to care for the medical needs of all workers on your jobsite, and secondly to maintain an amiable and professional relationship with the workers and the consultant. The character and personalities of our medics are just as important to the overall success of the service our company provides as is the quality of their medic abilities.
Another important responsibility is maintaining communication with the dispatchers, so that they are kept in the loop concerning any issues or changes at your worksite. As well, you are expected to keep the interiors of your ETV and MTC in immaculate condition, as they are considered a medical facility. The exteriors should be kept clean also, although we realize this is not always possible in the extreme weather and road conditions we experience. [Top of page]
Q: How much do you pay?
A: Alpha Safety provides a competitive wage, with an increasing pay scale for years of service. If the company is being paid for a full 12 hr day (which is almost always the case) then our medics get full wages for that day even though the actual hours worked could be shorter. Also, because fully cleaning your unit at the end of the job is a requirement, we do cover the time you spend on it if it extends beyond your regular 12 hour day. We also take into account travel time, pay overtime for any hours worked beyond the regular 12 hour day, and if possible, we direct deposit your cheques while you are in the field.
For more exact info on wages, you can contact our HR office at 1-888-413-3477. [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 medic 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 a medic needs time off, has a family emergency, or just prefers 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 attendants 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 medics in the field to give advice, resolve issues, and even for impromptu counseling, 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 emergency transportation vehicles are modern 4x4 trucks and our medical treatment centers are stocked with top of the line equipment and supplies. 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 being a medic?
A: Most people become a medic because they enjoy helping others; some do so because they find the work exciting, a few because they can make good money after only a few weeks of schooling. Many are pursuing a medical or paramedic career, and are looking for some experience and a way to pay their bills at the same time- some are retired or semi-retired but are not ready to leave the work force yet. And last but not least, because this line of work is seasonal, many medics integrate schooling, travel, alternate employment and more into the off season, giving them lots of options and a variety of life choices.
Whatever the reasons are in motivating a person into choosing to be a medic, the majority find it a challenging and rewarding period in their life’s work. [Top of page]
Q: Why should I consider being a medic in the North?
A: Adventure! Northern BC, Alberta and the Arctic are an incredible display of Canada’s wilderness. You meet herds of big game animals, experience the thrill of Northern lights, and feel the satisfaction of surviving one of the harshest climates on earth. It isn’t called “Big Country” for nothing! Oil and Gas is an exciting, fast paced industry, which is in a constant state of flux.
There are so many variables that affect it, from wars in the Middle East to hurricanes in the States, to the local weather and available workforce. There is an atmosphere of secrecy and intrigue that hangs in the air as the big oil companies compete to find and develop the best oil fields and service companies are left scrambling to sift through rumors and fact to guess what the season will bring in the way of work.
There is a real frontier mentality that still has a strong hold in the North, and while this does create its own set of challenges, it is also great to experience and be a part of!
Profit- because most of the work is out in camps where you work 12 hrs/day, 7days/week, and you have no living expenses and no way to spend your money, it accrues in your bank account quite nicely! [Top of page]
Q: Are there many First Aid companies in FSJ?
A: Yes there are, ranging from one medical unit to over a hundred units. Alpha Safety is a medium sized company, although we experience significant growth each year. If we are in a slow spell, we advise applicants to send their resumes to other companies as well, as this gives them a greater chance of employment. [Top of page]
Q: What kind of First Aid emergencies does a medic encounter when working for your company?
A: While the oil patch has a reputation for being a dangerous place to work, safer work practices have greatly reduced the numbers of injuries and death in the industry. Extreme, life threatening scenarios are rare, and most accidents occur while on the road. Because of the isolated existence of most camps, you are most often dealing with colds, flu’s, infections and minor injuries such as blisters and cuts.
Forest Fire medic work actually has you attending a much greater volume of injuries. Lots of sprains, blister and sliver treatments here! [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
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