New Health and Safety Specialists and Mine Rescue Officers available for consult
Workplace Safety North and Ontario Mine Rescue welcome eight new additions to the team.
Yamilet Valencia, Student Intern, Sudbury
Mathew Johnson, Emergency Services Specialist, Timmins
Kurtis Atkinson, Mine Rescue Officer, Thunder Bay
Nicholas Schwehr, Mine Rescue Officer, Kirkland Lake
Sabrina Missere, Health and Safety Specialist, Thunder Bay
Patrick Vaillancourt, Health and Safety Specialist, Timmins
Ron Ouellette, Mine Rescue Officer, Red Lake
Yamilet Valencia, Student Intern May-June 2021, Prevention Services, Sudbury district
Yamy joined Workplace Safety North in May for a seven-week student internship as part of the Cambrian College Workplace Safety and Prevention Technician Program. Having lived in Columbia and Ecuador, Yamy and her husband and two children arrived in Canada in September 2019. With a background in biotechnology, she has expertise in laboratory procedures and standards. As a Workplace Safety and Prevention Technician, she wants to work in an organization and with industries whose commitment aligns with her personal values. Yamy was able to gain hands-on experience with health and safety, and wants to help support and promote healthy and safe workplace cultures.
Mathew Johnson, Emergency Services Specialist-Mine Rescue Officer, Timmins district
Mat Johnson joined Workplace Safety North’s Ontario Mine Rescue team in May. He joins Danny Taillefer and Jason Leger in the Timmins district, and is responsible for both surface and underground emergency response and training throughout northern Ontario. Previously, Mat worked at Pan American Silver-Lake Shore Gold as a mobile maintenance shop supervisor. He served as an active mine rescue volunteer since 2015. Mat was a volunteer firefighter with the Whitney fire department for several years prior to moving Timmins with his wife and 8-month-old son. Mat was a member of the winning Lake Shore Gold mine rescue team at the provincial competition in 2018. He and his team also competed at the 2018 International Mine Rescue Competition in Russia representing Ontario Mine Rescue. Mat’s mine rescue and firefighting experience is a welcome addition to the Ontario Mine Rescue program.
Kurtis Atkinson, Mine Rescue Officer, Thunder Bay district
Kurtis joined Duane Croswell in the Thunder Bay district in May and is responsible for both surface and underground emergency response and training throughout the Thunder Bay and Algoma Districts. Previously Kurtis worked at Barrick Hemlo as a paste crew-construction supervisor. He received mine rescue training in 2017 and served as an active mine rescue volunteer in the Thunder Bay District. Kurtis is a volunteer firefighter with the Marathon fire department, in Marathon Ontario where he lives with his wife Lindsay and their new baby boy. Kurtis was a key member of the Barrick Hemlo mine rescue competition team that won the district competition in 2019. He is also a Texas A&M graduate and has extensive knowledge in firefighting theory and practical application.
Nicholas Schwehr, Mine Rescue Officer, Kirkland Lake district
Nick joined Shawn Shail and Wayne Baker in the Kirkland Lake district in June and is responsible for both surface and underground emergency response and training throughout northern Ontario. Previously Nick worked at Pan American Silver-Lake Shore Gold as a raise leader. He received mine rescue training in 2013 and served as an active Mine Rescue volunteer in both the Kirkland Lake and Timmins sistricts. Nick is an outdoor enthusiast and enjoys spending time fishing and hunting with his wife Cristelle and son John. Nick was a key member of the Lake Shore Gold mine rescue team who won the provincial competition in 2018. He and his team also competed at the 2018 International Mine Rescue Competition in Russia representing Ontario Mine Rescue. Nick’s mine rescue and raise mining experience is a welcome addition to the Ontario Mine Rescue program.
Sabrina Missere, Health and Safety Specialist, Thunder Bay district
Sabrina joined the Thunder Bay team in July and provides health and safety services to WSN clients throughout the northwest region. Previously, Sabrina worked at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre as health and safety consultant. Sabrina was the hospital contact for all safety related concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic. She also worked at Bombardier Transportation as the Health and Safety Advisor as well as conducting assessments at Resolute Forest Products Mills, including the Thunder Bay Paper Mill and the Ignace sawmill. Sabrina holds an Honours Bachelor of Science Degree in Kinesiology from Lakehead University along with her Occupational Health and Safety Certificate from Ryerson University. Born and raised in Thunder Bay, she grew up playing competitive soccer and values hard work and being part of a team.
Patrick Vaillancourt, Health and Safety Specialist, Sudbury-Central Ontario region
Patrick joined the Sudbury-Central Ontario team in August and provides health and safety training and consulting services to WSN clients throughout the region. Born and raised in Timmins, Patrick comes from three generations of hard rock miners. Previously, Patrick worked as a miner and later trained to become a hoist millwright. During his time with the mine, he successfully competed on several mine rescue and first aid competition teams both at the district and provincial levels, and also volunteered with the city fire department where he achieved the rank of Captain and Trainer-Facilitator. He left the private mining sector to work in the public sector as a Provincial Offences Officer with the Ministry of Labour in the Mining Program. He also took on the task of trainer and helped familiarize new recruits with provincial legislation, their duties, and provided specialized training.
Ron Ouellette, Mine Rescue Officer, Red Lake district
Ron Ouellette joins Grant Saunders in the Red Lake District as a Mine Rescue Officer in September. Ron joins WSN from the Pure Gold Madsen mine where he was instrumental in bringing a high quality mine rescue and emergency response process online as the new mine moved towards production. Prior to his time at Pure Gold, Ron worked at Red Lake Gold Mines in underground exploration, production, supervisory and safety leadership roles. Trained in mine rescue in 2013, Ron continued on to achieve his technician, advanced and management mine rescue certifications. Ron was heavily involved in the competition process, winning Red Lake District Competitions in 2013, 2014 and 2015, and eventually moving into training and coordination roles for site teams as well. In 2019 Ron was one of the key leaders to plan and execute the first ever Provincial Competition held in Red Lake, a realistic simulation using multiple Red Lake Gold Mines facilities both surface and underground, in recognition of both the 70th competition and the 90th anniversary of Ontario Mine Rescue. Outside of mining and mine rescue, Ron holds a passion for physical fitness, has competed at an elite level, and worked as a trainer and business operator assisting others in the field as well. Ron’s passion for teaching others will be a welcome addition to the Ontario Mine Rescue program.
Contact your local WSN Health and Safety Specialist or Ontario Mine Rescue Officer