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Paladin Security to recognize staff for blizzard efforts in St. John's region

The steps at the Waterford Hospital had to be shoveled out every 30 minutes during Friday's blizzard in St. John's.
The steps at the Waterford Hospital had to be shoveled out every 30 minutes during Friday's blizzard in St. John's. - Contributed
ST. JOHN'S, N.L. —

Fifty one hours and 10 minutes.

That’s how long Edwin Facey, site supervisor for Paladin Security Waterford Hospital punched in after arriving at work 7:30 a.m. Friday.

”At that point you might as well be specific,” Facey said Tuesday of the shift duration.

When he went home Sunday, there was about 11 feet of snow at his door and his mother had been home alone. His nephew helped him shovel. 

A shower, a bit of sleep, more shovelling, and 21 hours later Facey was back at work.

“It’s something else,” he said of the events in St. John's since Friday.

Like other co-workers and health care workers, he said security guards pitched in where needed, and took rest breaks in shifts.

He lauded the cafeteria staff for feeding everyone and since the seven guards couldn’t leave their posts he delivered food around to crew.

“It’s a busy place but the staff at the Waterford are amazing,” Facey said. “The Wateford is like a family. Everybody knows everybody’s first name.”

“It’s a busy place but the staff at the Waterford are amazing." — Edwin Facey

Saturday he got permission to get staff turned around, and described how one person walked 20 minutes on snowshoes to be picked up on the Higgin’s Line.

“It’s starting to come back to some semblance of normalcy. But the patients were really understanding all the time,” Facey said.

Anthony Suppa, site supervisor for Carbonear and Harbour Grace, said his staff delivered water, cleared off fire exits and other duties outside their own in co-operation with clinical staff.

‘It was kind of all together into one,” he said.

One security guard got a ride to work in Carbonear in a front-end loader.

Suppa, who is originally from Hamilton, Ont., said his family was incredulous over his stories of seeing such a mega blizzard for the first time.

“They were floored and I was like ‘mom, there were snowdrifts as high as my house,’” he said. 

On the Burin Peninsula, the snow was nowhere near the same as metro St. John’s but winds were fierce. 

One guard there also pulled a 50-hour shift Thursday to Saturday because the roads were impassable, said site supervisor Frank Haskell of one of his crew. 

Paladin plans an employee appreciation event in the upcoming weeks and is taking suggestions from staff.

“It will give us time as a whole to share everyone’s story and there are so many of them,” Suppa said. 

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