Print this page
Wednesday, 28 September 2016 15:49

Dunmore adds innovative business to the community

Written by 
Rate this item
(0 votes)
Marci Marshall, left and Amy Zuk. Marci Marshall, left and Amy Zuk.

From the TransCanada Highway turning right at Eagle Butte Crossing’s corner and a block down from the busy gas station, a building with a bright green roof is quite visible. The only thing more visible are the silver trucks with yellow and black bumble-bee-like striping parked amidst the parking lot full of vehicles.

Going inside, the smiles on Amy Zuk’s and Marci Marshall’s faces say it all. They like their new facilities.
Zuk, Safety Buzz’s founder, president and CEO and Marshall, who looks after the safety program management, are excited about the six acres they have at 350 Eagle Butte Road.
The building consists of a large entertaining area, a patio along with a lot of outdoor room for training.
“It originally came up for sale three years ago,” says Zuk adding they outgrew the 30 St. S.W. location in Medicine Hat. “I thought it was a pretty neat building when I saw it and I was definitely in the mindframe to buy it. The big thing was that the ATV and UTV training, we really struggled with the space.”
It took about a month to get the new place repainted, remodelled and there’s still some work to do which she is hoping will be completed quickly. It took only a few days to actually move the furniture and equipment they had from the former location.
Zuk and Marshall both say the desire to serve more rural clients will help as the new location is in the country, conducive to the needs of the rural base and those in agriculture, while not forgetting about the petroleum sector.
“What better place than in the country?” asks Zuk. “We can host multiple sessions and now that’s definitely set in one facility. Most of the courses we’ve been hosting have a rural focus and we’ve been seeing quite a few families.”
Zuk and Marshall have the answer for those in the agriculture industry who say they don’t have time, don’t want any more paperwork or don’t have the financial resources for training. Zuk says her team will do all of the paper work and they are experts at finding government funding or grants available to help pay for the training so any kind of cost or timeframe factors are minimal.
“We’d love to find them the funding; you’re saving yourself a lot of time and money being proactive,” explains Marshall. “Safety (and subsequently training), it hasn’t been in demand; it has been legislated ... Safety is not expensive.”
As far as the agriculture training, she says there is definitely some interest in getting the required training in order to comply with Bill 6. With the the new law, it’s all about the proper certification and getting trained.
According to the Alberta government, “until detailed technical rules are developed, producers with non-family, waged workers will need to follow generally acceptable industry standards and apply general health and safety principles, such as hazard assessments, safeguarding and use of personal protective equipment. Workers will be able to refuse unsafe work that provides imminent danger.”
Agriculture producers know this, according to Zuk.
“They are telling us, ‘Honestly, we’re way to busy to talk’, but when harvest is over, there’s going to be the big push,” explains Zuk. “It’s just all about setting up a safety program in the workplace, only here it’s on the farm. That being said farm and ranches are all unique, but the plan we have in place is applicable to any industry. We have the ATV/UTV training.”
They have access to instructors to teach emergency, confined space, H2S, First Aid training, telehandler and forklift, food handling, etc. With the oil industry slowing down, there is a need to focus on agriculture.
Currently there are 20 courses on the go and a full calendar of events.
“We’re networking in the community and that is important,” says Marshall. “We want people working with us and sharing our passions about safety and the industry.”
Besides the safety training, Zuk has bigger plans. The new building has a deck, where they can hold corporate functions, meetings, workshops, lunch and learns, powerpoint presentations and motivational sessions. Zuk is proud to say she is a certified John Maxwell trainer. She wants to be able to speak and do motivational sessions at the Dunmore location.
She also wants to host rural groups such as 4-H clubs and do motivational sessions with them and create some partnerships with businesses such as the Dunmore Dugout or the newly-constructed equestrian centre so as to make the sessions more fun.
“We want to prioritize work with community agencies and do a community event,” says Marshall.
What really gets Zuk smiling his her recent John Maxwell training. Maxwell is a highly-regarded leadership trainer and motivational speaker. She was overwhelmed with what a difference it has made for her and now that she is a certified trainer herself she wants to spread the knowledge around.
“I'm pretty open to public speaking,” she says.
She will often put motivational messages on her Facebook and Twitter sites.
Zuk started Safety Buzz in Bonnyville in 2004 and then in 2010 opened a second location in Medicine Hat.
Zuk’s past history includes everything from working construction including a packer and bobcat and surveying water lines, to working with Canadian Natural on sour well sites and operating CSS well to being a marketing representative for a welding company in Bonnyville. Marshall’s experience is safety training and being the HSE advisor of the program for local oil company CALFRAC Well Services. When she got the opportunity to work with Zuk, she jumped at it.
Zuk is also a board member of both Medicine Hat Women in Business as well HALO Air Rescue.
“l'm already developing some investment in this (area) ... I want to make this a hub for southern Alberta.”
Grand opening is Oct. 21 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

Read 2210 times
Ryan Dahlman

Managing Editor