Many places around the world are looking to lift or partially lift pandemic restrictions.
As businesses start to reopen and people return to the workplace, COVID-19 will not have gone away. While some people may happily and easily try to get “back to normal”, it is understandable that some will have concerns and feelings of apprehension. There are things you can do help manage your fears as post-pandemic life begins.
Stick to the facts communicated by public health agencies, medical professionals and lawmakers. Always go to reliable sources for your information, such as the World Health Organization, or the Public Health Agency of Canada, as well as your government and local health authority websites. Understanding the facts—even if they are a bit scary—is better than letting anxieties grow due to the lack of knowledge.
Put It in Perspective
Understand what is happening and how it relates to your situation. Just because restrictions are being lifted, your organization may choose to delay the reopening of your workplace. If parks or other public spaces in your area are open again, it does not mean you have to go. Easing restrictions may be happening to help certain sectors and may have no direct impact on your day-to-day life during the pandemic.
It is OK to err on the side of caution. You may be dealing with challenges and feelings that you do not understand. It is still important to follow the prevention tips recommended by your local heath authority, such as maintaining physical distancing and stringent hand washing. For more suggestions of how to protect yourself, read our article on Tips to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.
Ask for Help
If you are having trouble managing your anxiety, ask for help. This could range from asking someone to run errands for you if you are not comfortable going into busy places, to talking to a friend to get their perspective, to seeking professional help from a mental health professional or a counsellor at your assistance program if you are feeling overwhelmed.
Do’s and Don’ts as Restrictions Are Lifted
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use hand sanitizer with at least 70% alcohol, if soap and water are not available.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Continue to follow guidelines from authorities about using public spaces and following prevention guidelines.
Clean frequently touched objects and surfaces in your work area, including keyboards, phones, handrails and doorknobs.
Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care. You may also want to consider telemedicine or digital healthcare options available so that you can remain at home while seeking medical care.
Know what to expect of yourself. You may experience a variety of emotions. Talking about your feelings with someone you trust is a healthy way to process this evolving situation.
Continue to take care of yourself. Eat well, get plenty of rest and exercise, and remain digitally connected with those closest to you.
By Debbie Ciccotelli, Vice-President, Strategic Initiatives
Are you feeling as overwhelmed as I am as the COVID-19 pandemic infection rate continues to rise? Feeling overwhelmed is normal when there is so much disruption to our lives.
We have had enough negativity in 2020 to last a lifetime. I am exhausted by the gloom and doom and disheartened by what is currently happening in our community and world around us.
I believe that it is important to talk about our experience and the reality of what we are going through, so I thought I would share some personal experiences which COVID has had on me and my family.
I lost a cousin to COVID in April this year – he died in hospital alone and only his wife and mother attended his funeral. I have a young niece who has both Parkinson’s and Addison’s disease, which has resulted in a severely compromised immune system, confining her to her home. My daughter is an essential worker and is suffering anxiety from fear of bringing COVID home, as well as for having made the choice to send her 2 children to school. I personally am in the vulnerable age sector and have been working and locked down in my home since March. I have not been able to see my children or grandchildren, whom I love dearly and miss more than can be imagined. My 5-year-old granddaughter is in JK and due to minor cold or flu symptoms has been required to go through COVID testing three times already. Five days prior to finishing this article, my father passed away at home and we made the decision not to have a funeral service and to wait to hold a Celebration of Life when it is safe to do so – it is the right decision but somehow it seems wrong.
Many of you are experiencing similar, if not more difficult, challenges. In these troublesome times, it is important to think beyond ourselves and consider what others are facing. How you respond to stress during the COVID-19 pandemic can depend on your background, your social support from family or friends, your financial situation, your health and emotional background, the community you live in, and many other factors.
I am generally a very positive person and I have tried very hard not to let the impact of the pandemic get me down, but like many people there are times when I struggle to cope, which is a normal reaction. During these periods, receiving support and care from others has had a powerful effect on helping me cope with challenges. Spending telephone or virtual time talking through concerns, thoughts and feelings with supportive family and friends gives me a sense of comfort and stability.
Our world has not faced anything like this in over a century. It’s big. It’s ok, and even appropriate, to not be ok. Allow yourself to feel the reality of what you’re going through. Reach out, if it would help to talk to someone (it probably would). You don’t have to present a brave face to the world, if you’re having a tough time – If negative emotions threaten to overwhelm, find a counseling professional who works with people virtually or by phone, such as A.S.P.’s Employee Assistance Program (LifeWorks).
Connecting on a personal level, extending compassion and assuming positive intent from others may make all the difference for someone who is really hurting, either visibly or below the surface. It is important to understand the power we each have to connect and lift each other up, especially during the holiday season when we cannot be with the people we care about the most. These small interactions can make a massive impact on others.
If you want to be a respectful co-worker during this challenging time, show your peers you care by taking time to understand their world, stay in touch, and find ways to offer support. If we do, we may just come out of the other side of this health crises closer and more connected to each other. But if you’re really struggling as you watch it all unfold, feeling fear as this thing marches closer, or mourning your own real losses, that’s a normal reaction too. It’s better for our mental health to see this time as a collective challenge – one that is extremely difficult but remember: We’re all in this together
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou
With a vaccine arrival and the end of this horrible pandemic on the horizon, we will get through this and regardless of how people remember their own circumstances, I am convinced that they will have long-lasting memories of how others treated them.
By Paul Parkinson, Director, Finance
Practicing positivity is often easier said than done, especially given the complexity and the challenges we face in today’s world.
Positivity isn’t a slogan or something that can be passively attained. It’s something to work toward, a mindset that helps you better respond to and navigate life’s challenges. Working toward a more positive outlook can also help you work toward positive change in your home, workplace, and communities – creating a snowball effect that can help make a meaningful difference in the world.
The modern study of neuroplasticity has shown that how we think and behave can alter the structure of the brain. Positivity—positive thinking—can rewire the brain. By practising positivity, we can train ourselves to be happier and more resilient overall. The brain was once thought of as static—unchangeable—meaning once the brain was formed, you couldn’t change it. The good news, scientists have discovered, is that the brain is not unchangeable. In fact, we change our brains every day without even realizing it. Every habit you practise, each skill you learn, causes your brain to strengthen certain connections and weaken others. Our environment, habits, emotions, behaviours, and thoughts all have an impact on our brain.
Being able to change our brains in positive ways—to learn, to recover and heal—is a wonderful thing. However, on the flip side, our brains are also vulnerable to our external environment and even internal influences. This means that in the same way that we can heal, grow, and improve our brains and thoughts, we can also injure our brains and stay stuck in negative thoughts and behaviours.
What Negative Thinking and Worry Do to the Brain
As humans, we naturally focus on the negative—we are hardwired that way to keep ourselves safe from threats. In fact, when confronted with negativity or a potential threat, our brains activate more intensely than they do when an equally intense good or positive situation presents itself.
Interestingly, even just thinking about negativity activates the same parts in the brain as a real active threat to our safety or well-being. And while a negative thought or situation can “stick” in our brains after a split second, it takes 10 or more seconds of focusing on a positive thought for our brain to translate that positivity from our active memory to short-term memory and eventually to long-term memory.
There are also physical, emotional, and behavioural symptoms typically associated with negative thinking and worry.
Although it’s necessary for our brains to let us know when we are in danger or there is a threat, we need to be careful not to let negative thoughts take over our lives. The more our thought patterns tend to be negative, the easier it becomes to return to these automatic negative thought patterns. In fact, rumination (constantly turning over a situation in one’s mind and focusing on its negative aspects) can damage structures and connections in the brain that regulate emotions, memory, and feelings. As we focus more on the negative, over time, it becomes more difficult to create positive memories.
The Benefits of Positive Thinking
The physical health benefits of positive thinking can: help boost your immune system, improve heart health, reduce or prevent hypertension, lower stress levels, boost resilience.
As you increase your positive thinking, you’ll feel healthier in general, which can empower and motivate you to increase your healthy habits.
The emotional health benefits of positive thinking can help you handle problems more effectively, enjoy your life more, develop positive habits, boost your self-esteem and form healthy, positive relationships more easily. It’s easier to see the good in others when you’re looking at your world through a positive lens.
How To Change Negative Thoughts and Think More Positively
Engage in an activity that fully occupies the mind, such as doing a crossword puzzle. This can be helpful in breaking out of ruminative thought patterns.
Practise mindfulness or meditation. Focusing on the here and now and being present is a valuable way to change negative thought patterns and brain activity. Meditating regularly can help shift negative thought patterns, help the brain focus, and even slow the loss of brain cells.
Practise Yoga. Like meditation, yoga helps make you more aware of your own self-talk. Being aware of negative self-talk prompts you to make a change.
Consciously replace your thoughts. Make it a point to change your negative thinking by replacing a negative thought with a positive one.
Smile. It has been proven to improve your mood and thought patterns. Smiling sends positive thoughts to the brain.
Sing. Singing has been scientifically proven to fight depression and boost one’s mood.
Make a list of things you’re worried or stressed about to get your worries out of your head. Then make another list of things you feel positive or grateful for. Next, make an effort to shift the focus of your brain from negative to positive thoughts.
Read something positive. Doing so can boost your mood and give you a mental break.
Be around positive thinkers. Your attitude will tend to follow that of your friends.
Help someone else solve a problem. Take a break from thinking about yourself and do what you can to help someone else. It will help bring a sense of accomplishment and can help you gain a new perspective on your own problems.
Take control of your life. Make choices to change what you can control.
It’s tough to start, but as you work at it and intentionally take steps to improve yourself, you’ll build stronger connections between positive thinking and challenges, and you’ll be on your way to a more positive outlook.
By Laurel Woodhouse, Health and Safety Manager
What’s the Danger?
When you’re cold, blood vessels in your skin, arms and legs constrict, decreasing the blood flow to your arms and legs. This helps your critical organs stay warm, but you risk frostbite in your extremities.
Cold-related illness and injuries can cause permanent tissue damage or death. The toe, fingers, ears and nose are at the greatest risk because they do not have major muscles to produce heat.
Adjust the pace or rate of work – not too low that a person becomes cold, nor too high and cause heavy sweating or wet clothing.
Allow time for new workers to become accustomed to the conditions.
Make sure that protective clothing is worn at or below 4°C. including layers of warm clothing, with an outer layer that is wind-resistant, a hat, mittens or insulated gloves, scarf, neck tube or face mask and insulated waterproof footwear.
Occurs when tissue temperature falls below the freezing point or when blood flow is obstructed; symptoms include inflammation of the skin in patches and slight pain. In severe cases, there could be tissue damage without pain or burning or prickling sensations that result in blisters.
Get medical aid.
Warm the area with body heat—do not rub.
Don’t thaw hands and feet unless medical aid is far away and there’s no chance of refreezing. It’s best to thaw body parts at a hospital.
Is the most severe cold injury. The excessive loss of body heat can be fatal.
Moderate symptoms • Shivering • Blue lips and fingers • Slow breathing and heart rate • Disorientation and confusion • Poor coordination
Severe symptoms • Unconsciousness • Heart slowdown to the point where pulse is irregular or hard to find • No shivering • No detectable breathing. Although these symptoms resemble death, always assume the person is alive.
Hypothermia can kill—get medical aid immediately.
Carefully move the person to a shelter. Sudden movement can upset heart rhythm.
Keep the person awake. Remove any wet clothing and wrap them in warm covers.
Move workers to a heated shelter and seek medical advice.
Survey and monitor the temperature
Train managers, supervisor and workers on symptoms, safe work practices, rewarming procedures, proper clothing practices, and what to do in case of cold injury.
Use buddy system to watch for symptoms in others.
Wear several layers of clothing rather than one thick layer to capture air as an insulator.
Wear synthetic fabrics next to the skin to “wick” away sweat.
If conditions require, wear a waterproof or wind-resistant outer layer.
Wear warm gloves, hats, and hoods. You may also need a balaclava.
Tight-fitting footwear restricts blood flow. You should be able to wear either one thick or two thin pairs of socks.
If your clothing gets wet at 2°C or less, change into dry clothes immediately and get checked for hypothermia.
If you get hot while working, open your jacket but keep your hat and gloves on.
Take warm, high-calorie drinks and food.
By Sarah Northrup, Human Resources Director
It is my pleasure to introduce and welcome our new Health and Safety Manager, Laurel Woodhouse to our A.S.P. family.
Laurel joined the Human Resources team on November 2, 2020. I can attest to the idea that joining a new company is not easy this year, as I know a number of our employees can also relate to! Laurel spent her first month with A.S.P. with a laser focus on the public health crisis affecting us all. Laurel has established partnerships with our leadership teams across the country.
Laurel has an extensive career as a Health and Safety specialist and a wealth of experience fostering a health and safety culture. A Certified Health and Safety Consultant, Laurel has built and grown pro-active safety systems in a variety of industries for the last 15 years.
Laurel has a strong philosophy of putting safety first and unique experience in both federal and provincial health and safety legislation which will be a definite asset to the company. Her approachable personality combined with her collaborative approach has already made her a great contributor to the A.S.P family.
Located in our corporate HQ office in Burlington, Laurel’s work will take her across the organization.
Please join me in giving Laurel Woodhouse a warm A.S.P. welcome.
ICTS Europe is the parent company of A.S.P.
Virusight Diagnostic is a newly formed Joint Venture of Sheba Medical Center’s ARC Innovation Center & Newsight Imaging. The pilot is due to start at airports in the EU.
(Ramat Gan, Israel, September 22, 2020)– In a ground-breaking effort to keep international airports open and providing safe travel for both tourists and business executives in the COVID- 19 era, Virusight Diagnostic, a newly formed AI (Artificial Intelligence) healthcare venture between Sheba Medical Center’s ARC Innovation Center and Newsight Imaging, has signed a strategic LOI (letter of intent) for rapid screening of airline passengers with ICTS Europe, a leading security provider at major airports across the globe.
Virusight obtained the rights to use the SpectraLIT™, Newsight Imaging’s portable and accurate spectral analysis device, empowered by Virusight’s software solution combining Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. The method has been clinically proven at Sheba Medical Center, the largest hospital in Israel and the Middle East to identify viruses such as COVID-19 in seconds – using a simple oral mouth rinse. The company is now joining forces with ICTS Europe to implement the technology and screen thousands of passengers in airports worldwide.
ICTS Europe is an international group with over 30 years’ experience in providing security solutions to organisation within the Aviation, Public Transport, and Corporate sectors. ICTS operates in 23 countries, covering over 120 airports and 300 operation centers across Europe, North America, and the Far East.
The two companies agreed to start a set of supervised pilot programs at targeted airports in an attempt to release the world from the pandemic travel lockdown. Tests will be immediate, affordable and monitored, so that airports and airlines can optimize the level of safety by mitigating the risk of COVID-19 infection. Following the pilot’s completion and analysis, a wide deployment of the technology is expected in airports across ICTS Europe’s existing infrastructure, utilizing Virusight’s Imaging technology backed by ARC at Sheba Medical Center.
ARC (an acronym for Accelerate, Redesign and Collaborate) has made headlines around the world during the pandemic, by introducing a range of digital and tele-health solutions to deal with COVID-19.
Oren Sapir, ICTS Europe’s President & CEO, commented, “Since the outbreak of COVID-19, ICTS Europe has played an important role in supporting the aviation community, by assisting with recovery via our Back in the Air initiative – a package of innovative solutions aimed at boosting confidence amongst passengers and stakeholders.
As travel restrictions are gradually lifted, innovation and technology will continue to be central to the industry’s recovery, and so we are proud and extremely pleased to join forces with Virusight to unveil SpectraLIT™ – a groundbreaking COVID-19 screening solution, powered by unique machine-learning and AI capabilities.”
Sapir added, “Thanks to its flexibility, SpectraLIT™ can be tailored to meet the specific needs of each individual airport, airline or any other organization who may be looking to integrate screening capabilities into its operations. SpectraLIT™ not only complements our existing range of solutions, but also has all the required components to become a key feature in our Back in the Air initiative. We chose Virusight due to its proven diagnostic track record. Combined with ICTS operational expertise, SpectraLIT™ is set to become the industry’s benchmark for passenger screening against COVID-19.”
Eli Assoolin, CEO of Newsight and Board Chairman at Virusight Diagnostic said, “We are very pleased to sign this important LOI with ICTS Europe, just a few weeks after we have formed our joint venture with Sheba Medical Center. Our solution for COVID-19 is currently in the process of receiving regulation approval and is ready for deployment in COVID-19 hot-spots such as airports. Our strategy is to enable a return to a normal lifestyle by selecting the best-in-class partners in each domain. ICTS Europe is a leader in their field, with wide-spread proven success and brilliant solutions which are currently already deployed in many places. The two companies will strive to cope with the challenge of mass screening of airline passengers, and we are keen on seeing the world of travel getting back to a normal routine.”
Dr. Eyal Zimlichman, Chief Medical Officer and Chief Innovation Officer at Sheba Medical Center stated, “This agreement, is an important milestone for the company, digital health will transform healthcare and this is yet another example of leveraging AI technology to mitigate COVID-19. We formed ARC, our innovation model with the aim to accelerate innovation through redesign healthcare by collaborating with partners. This is an active example of the model at work.”
ICTS Europe, owned by the French holding company Sofinord, is a leading supplier of security and passenger processing solutions, providing a broad range of services and technologies across a variety of industries. Leveraging its global network of operational hubs, in-depth industry knowledge, and technological capabilities, ICTS Europe protects organisations’ most valuable assets end-to-end. Combining extensive experience and specialised skills, ICTS offers a comprehensive portfolio of targeted solutions that span across its clients’ value chain – from flow facilitation, explosives detection and X-ray screening, through to risk resilience, compliance and process optimisation.
With more than 16,000 employees worldwide, working in more than 120 airports in 23 countries, ICTS continues to work closely with its airport, airline, and high-end corporate clients, developing the next generation of responses to evolving security needs, emerging threats and changes in the operational landscape – a company committed to continuous innovation.
Virusight is an AI software company, using unique spectral acquisition and analysis technology, for pathogenic diagnosis.
The company is developing revolutionary COVID-19 rapid tests, based on Newsight Imaging’s spectral technology while using a noninvasive oral rinse. The technology allows for an immediate, affordable, and portable solution, which will be able to identify other viruses in the near future.
Founded in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Virusight was created to develop an accurate, real-time virus diagnosis solution. The company is a result of mutual collaboration between Newsight Imaging and ARC at Sheba Medical Center, the largest hospital in Israel and the Middle East and recognized by Newsweek Magazine as one of the Top 10 Best Hospitals in the World.
Iwould like to thank and commend everyone for all their hard work and continued dedication as we work our way through the ever-changing environment that we find ourselves in.
There has been so much activity in the Aviation Security world that I am only going to highlight a few items for each of our airport security contracts at YYZ, YYC and YSB.
Security Services at Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ)
With the constant evolving challenges and requirements presented to us due to COVID-19. A.S.P. has continued to provide excellent service to the GTAA. Not only in the service we provide to our clients, but also how we train employees. We are now doing a combination of online and classroom training to ensure all of our valued employees are kept up to date with their training.
We at A.S.P. have supported the GTAA with a number of trials over the last few months, by providing this vital support to the GTAA it has enabled the GTAA to operate at an optimal level, giving the travelling passengers through GTAA the confidence that every step is being taken to ensure their safety and wellbeing is of paramount importance.
An example of this is our Specialist team who are ensuring that every passenger, employee and contractor comply with safety regulations and wear masks within the Terminals. Below we have an email from Bryan Scott, Associate Director – Security Operations commending the A.S.P. Specialist team on their efforts in carrying out this vital function.
Good afternoon Garinder, sending a quick note of thanks and appreciation to you and your team for the continued professional and positive service being provided. With the current and unprecedented environment, we find ourselves in, you and your team have maintained and exceeded the service level needed at Toronto Pearson.
As we, together in partnership, work in keeping everyone safe and secure at Pearson, we added a new level of health conditions. The additional health conditions are a vital part in keeping the airport operational and is the base for future rebuilding of the aviation industry. It is appreciated that when asked there was no hesitation in providing the necessary resources to assist in this endeavour. It was an unknown area, with unknown scenarios, and with the support of your organization we were able to implement appropriate and unprecedented measures to limit the health exposure to passengers and employees. The work to set the health practices in place has been recognized, most recently with Toronto Pearson Airport being the first Canadian airport to be accredited under the Airports Council International (ACI) Airport Health Accreditation programme.
I have heard of reports and been part of many incidents of good and unfortunately not so good behaviour from the general public and our airport employee colleagues. It is appreciated of the continued professional and respectful manner that you and your team take when interacting with the sometimes-inappropriate behaviour of the few. It is also appreciated of the dedicated and consistent approach to advising and educating everyone on the needed health direction, as we continue to try and protect people, the airport and the industry.
Please pass along my thanks and appreciation to all who have and continue to help us through this time.
Thank you, Bryan
Congratulations to Toronto Pearson Airport on being the first Canadian airport to be accredited under the Airports Council International (ACI) Airport Health Accreditation program. All A.S.P. employees at Pearson Airport can feel proud for your contribution in this program.
Security Services at Calgary International Airport (YYC)
Firstly, I would like to congratulate our client Sherry Beard on being promoted to YYC’s Director of Security, Safety and Environment. We look forward to having a continued partnership with you for many years to come.
Secondly, congratulations to A.S.P.’s Daniel McCormack on his promotion to Quality Assurance Manager. Since taking over the role, Daniel has made a number of excellent improvements to the service we are delivering to YYC. One of these is modifying A.S.P. reports to replace YYC Incident Reports enabling YYC to receive regular occurrence updates that are identified by our security team at YYC.
There has been a number of client commendations for the A.S.P. Security Team at YYC over the summer. Samantha Johnson, Cam Schulte, Shannon Jacobson, Jaspreet Badesha and Derek Steman are a few I would like to mention. Thank you for your fantastic work and great service you are providing.
Security Services at Sudbury Regional Airport (YSB)
There has been a number of changes with the Service we are providing at Sudbury Airport.
Welcome to Dawn Larsen – Manager, Marketing, Communications & Customer Experience who has taken over as our client for the Greater Sudbury Airport.
In addition, A.S.P.’s Noman Butt, Client Support Manager, has taken over the management of the Security contract for A.S.P.
Protection of health, safety and well-being of employees and passengers is of utmost importance not only to the Greater Sudbury Airport, but is crucial to the service A.S.P. delivers to our clients. As such we have run a course on Security Operations and Customer Service with the A.S.P. team at GSA. It was a great training session with our client Dawn attending and providing some valuable insight. The focus and contribution from the team was over-whelming and is evident that the A.S.P. Security team are passionate about the work they undertake at GSA.
By Cliff Sampogna, Director of Operations, Residential/Commercial Division
Over the last few years, the Residential and Commercial division has experienced a lot of change. This change has created a unique and special environment throughout the organization.
As I reflect on how we have grown and adapted to the change, I want to take this opportunity to reflect on our successes and learning opportunities. When I first started with A.S.P. Security (more than five years ago) the RES/CIC division was in a position of creating an identity and working towards creating a brand that would allow us to provide the specialized services that we wanted to our clients and our A.S.P. family members.
The last few years have seen immense growth and brand recognition. This is usually something that is looked at as success at a senior level, but I can truly say that this is not because of anything I have done, but is because of everything our A.S.P. family in the field and support team has done. Our team in the field is second to none and as I continue meeting new and veteran employees I am continually amazed by the passion, drive, and love for the organization you all have for making A.S.P. successful. Because of you, we have been able to have the success we have had.
During these tough and unprecedented times, I have seen people sacrifice so much and dedicate themselves to their positions to make sure that we continue serving our clients at the level they expect from A.S.P. This is a true testament to your character and work ethic.
2020 has been a very challenging year for the world and A.S.P. has not been isolated from these challenges; because of the work our A.S.P. family has done, we have been able to become even stronger and have been able to use our strength to get through these tough times.
We have a lot of projects on the go currently and I look at these as new positive challenges that I get to pursue with confidence, because of the concrete foundation that our team has built in the field and in the office. Our growth is truly because of the reputation that all of you have created for our organization and I cannot be any more humbled to be the person that gets to lead this amazing team into the next phase.
Some of the projects that you will see in the near future will be new vertical markets within the division, as well as technological updates and processes. Another great initiative our management team is doing is to create a strong succession planning with our A.S.P. family. This will allow us to continue identifying and growing our team members within for future growth and opportunities. If you have an interest in opportunities within the company, I encourage you to reach out to us and let us know.
Over the next several news articles, I will continue providing you with new and exciting things that are happening within the division. I look forward to the next phase of our evolution.
By Vince Bozzo, Director of Operations, Aviation Division
What an extraordinary team! On August 9, 2020, we received a wonderful note from our partners at Toronto Pearson International Airport, expressing their gratitude for an OSR team that truly went above and beyond!
A passenger arrived from Greece and collapsed at the bottom of the escalator leading into Terminal 1 Customs Hall. Without hesitation, Emirates crew jumped into action. After finding no vital signs, they started CPR compressions, while switching teams and supporting each other in counts and procedures.
At the same time, OSR Manager Harprit Kaur grabbed a defibrillator from the PIL (Primary Inspection Line), which was used to administer a shock. Once the EMS team arrived, they took over the situation. The passenger was revived and transported to the hospital with vital signs. Thanks to amazing teamwork and quick reaction, this passenger’s life was saved!
Thank you to Harprit and our fantastic OSR team members who supported her that day.
Harprit Kaur, OSR Manager
By Debbie Ciccotelli, Vice-President, Strategic Initiatives
Our A.S.P. support service teams play an integral role in our business. These teams include our Finance, Human Resources, Administrative and Resource Planning teams, who provide many key services ranging from client invoicing, payroll, scheduling, recruitment, employee communications, leave management, etc.
From Back to Front: Natasha Stephenson-Belle (Manager), “Harpreet Saini, Colin Catney and Hardeep Khaneja
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, A.S.P followed the recommendations of Health Agencies and elected to reduce or temporarily lock down offices and transition office support employees to a remote (work from home) environment. This transition required the company to ensure that these employees had the required tools and technologies to effectively work remotely and our employees had to quickly adapt to this new way of working.
While we recognize the challenges our front-line
While we recognize the challenges our front-line essential services employees experience, our office support staff also experienced significant challenges adapting to working remotely, which were further complicated by school closures, spouses/partners also working from home or job loss, pressures of social/physical distancing as well as the increased workload associated with COVID-19 business disruptions.
Challenges such as:
Lack of home offices/space or privacy
Distractions/interruptions in the home environment
Learning and relying on new technologies and associated technical difficulties
Feeling disconnected from their teams
Balancing work and private lives
Most of us are “wired” for human connection; when forced to unplug from these connections and relationships, we feel the effects of isolation and loneliness and the adjustment to working remotely impacts each of us in different ways.
These individuals put in the effort, quickly adapted to working from home, stayed productive and focused. I know it wasn’t easy.
Their commitment, dedication and discipline were critical to our ability to maintain business continuity and serve and support our front-line employees during this difficult period. I am extremely proud and inspired by the way these individuals rose to the challenge. Loyal and dedicated employees like this are the foundation of our company.
As we begin to transition to the next phase (reentry), I wanted to take a moment to thank our office support team employees for what they have they have done – their contributions made a difference.