Career Profile – David Ritch

Name:
David Ritch

Community:
Marten Falls First Nation

Job Position:
Camp Support & Relief Camp Foreman

 

What I do.

I work at Esker Camp as relief Camp Foreman and Camp Support. My job involves operating, cleaning, maintaining and servicing skidoos, ATVs, generators, heavy equipment and amphibious machines called Argos. I also do ice profiling in winter (measuring ice thickness) and whatever is else needed around camp based on our priorities for the day. It never ends!

A typical day.

We start with a safety (toolbox) meeting, followed by daily tasks like cleaning and fueling the generator. Then I do the assigned work for the day, which changes daily and includes things like meeting planes at Koper Lake for supplies, helicopter slinging, drumming garbage, etc. Before we start any task, we fill out a FLRA card, which looks at the hazards and how they can be avoided.

What is it like working at a remote camp on a two-week rotation?

What I like best is being in the bush and working outdoors. The food is good too. Working a two-week rotation is nice because you get two weeks off between shifts, which gives me time to take road trips with my wife and hang out with our three grandchildren.

What’s it like training for relief camp foreman?

The training is going well, the teachers are great. I work closely with our camp foreman and camp manager. We talk in the evening about what we’re going to do the next day. The foreman job includes showing other workers what they need to do each day, setting the camp schedule for the day and lending a hand in the field. For me the hardest part was the computer—it scared me at first—but I’m fine with it now.

The main difference between doing support and being a foreman is giving direction to others. And, if something happens I am the one that gets blamed!

What kind of career would you like to have as Noront transitions into an operating mine?

This is my dream job and I like working for Noront. Every day is different. I like operating heavy equipment because of my experience working in the logging industry for 10 years. It would be nice to keep working here and see our road get built.

What do you always bring to work?

Ambition and a smile.

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