Ice. Wind. Bone-chilling temperatures.

We’ve all dealt with it this year. But for Saskatoon Health Region maintenance staff, it’s been particularly trying. Mother Nature has been cruel with endless rounds of snow, freeze/thaw cycles and bone-chilling temperatures. The latest challenge has been ice: tons and tons of ice! Call it the dandelion of winter!

thumbnail_snowTrevor Yarmovich, Manager of Parking Operations, has nothing but praise for the hard work and dedication of the maintenance staff he supervises. “I’m very impressed with all of the maintenance staff. Despite this winter’s ongoing battle with snow and ice, they don’t stop trying to make our parking areas and walkways safe for patients, visitors and staff. They come in to do their jobs in the worst of conditions.”

This year, maintenance staff had a new defence against the worst Mother Nature could throw at them…ice melt. Never before has maintenance staff had a product that was safe to use on the parking decks, where a protective membrane does not allow salt, the traditional ice melt, to be used.

Ice, snow and cold weather have been a big challenge for Saskatoon Health Region maintenance staff.

Ice, snow and cold weather have been a big challenge for Saskatoon Health Region maintenance staff.

“The environmentally friendly ice melt product has been good for us,” says Yarmovich. “It ensures a better walkway surface that is free of debris for patients, especially for those using wheelchairs or strollers. In the past, we used crushed rock. That would provide some grip on ice, but did not keep the walkway clear. However, even with three semi-truckloads of ice melt, we just can’t keep up with the ice this winter. I credit the maintenance staff for keeping things as good as they have been.”

So it’s now up to Mother Nature to show some mercy and let spring finally arrive…and let all of us, including the maintenance staff, turn to more pleasant forms of outdoor work, even pulling dandelions.