Employee Profile – Elias Whitehead

Name:
Elias Whitehead

Community:
Webequie First Nation

Job Position:
Camp Support

 

What do you do?

I work as Camp Support at Esker Camp.

What does your typical day look like?

Usually, I get up before sunrise, do my routine stuff then go for coffee and a nice breakfast. I meet the guys at the shop for a briefing and safety talk before moving on to our assigned work for the day.

The first thing we all do is fill out a FLRA (Field Level Risk Assessment) Hand Book. Then we start our duties. As camp support, my day could include a whole range of things depending on what’s needed. Our work includes fuelling the generator, bringing fuel to camp, helicopter slinging, servicing snowmobiles, ATVs, Argos and heavy equipment, cleaning buildings, shoveling snow off the boardwalks, burning boxes in the incinerator etc.

If float planes are expected at Koper Lake, we pack a lunch, get on a helicopter and are safely dropped off to wait for them to arrive, so we can unload supplies and load up empty drums and garbage. When we’re done, we radio for the helicopter and get back safely to camp.

In the winter, we profile the ice and when it gets to be more than two feet thick, we build an ice strip at Koper Lake and plow the runway so planes can fly in. When we do a fuel haul, we work as a team to safely place fuel drums on toboggans and take them into the environmental protection berms.

This isn’t your first job with Noront. What brought you back?

I enjoy working in a positive environment with friendly people and learning new things. At Noront, I learn something new everyday. To be honest, Esker Camp is my favourite place to work because the people are great, I get to work close to my home town of Webequie and the food is great too—I can’t forget to mention that!

Is there anything you’d like to share about your career?

Yes, I would say take advantage of the mining programs offered in the Nishnawbe Education and Training (NEAT). Have confidence in yourself and start focusing on your career. I finished two RoFATA training programs with KKETS. I also did Pre-Trades Carpentry in Winnipeg for a year back in 2012 and this summer I did Heavy Equipment Technician for 3 months in Thunder Bay, ON.

How do you see your future as Noront transitions into an operating mine?

My goal is to keep working in the Ring of Fire and help Noront keep a remote exploration camp running. I want to build my career as a camp guy and become an experienced foreman.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

I would say, always have a positive attitude. Remember to bring some stuff to camp that will keep you busy when you’re not working. I take my electronics and listen to country music. I also like to work out, so I’m looking forward to the new gym at camp.

Meegwetch (Thanks) to everyone that took the time to read my profile. I hope you enjoyed it!