Now is the time to prepare for winter. Check out these stories for ideas that will get you ready for freezing temperatures.
By Tina Grady Barbaccia
A Certificate for Pro Snowfighters
Snowfighters have a big job. Now there is a certificate program to help them do their jobs better.
The idea of a certificate program has been an ongoing discussion in the winter maintenance community, says Mark DeVries, chairman of the American Public Works Association (APWA) Winter Maintenance Subcommittee and maintenance superintendent for the McHenry County, Ill. Department of Transportation.
The APWA subcommittee has in fact been discussing the need for additional training for the past five years. “Discussion fluctuated between pursuing a certificate program for training new supervisors versus working on a certification process to verify the supervisor’s core level of knowledge,” explains Phyllis Muder, APWA continuing education project manager and project coordinator for the certificate program.
The APWA Winter Maintenance Supervisor Certificate program was launched at the APWA Snow and Pacific Northwest Snowfighters Conference in Spokane, Wash., in April.
The certificate will next be offered in conjunction with the 31st Annual APWA Western Snow and Ice Conference and National Snow Roadeo in Estes Park, Colo., in September and again in conjunction with the 2012 APWA North American Snow Conference in Milwaukee, Wis., in April of 2012.
“We wanted the participants to be able to expand their knowledge of planning and preparation, increase their understanding of winter weather, learn how to better use traditional and alternative chemicals, improve the training of their teams and enhance communications with the public,” Muder explains. “The goal of the program was to provide a base level of knowledge for individuals charged with supervising their winter maintenance operations. All of sections focused on the environmental impacts of the policies and stressed responsible application.”
The certificate workshop was presented in six segments by a team of 12 experts from the United States and Canada. Here is an overview:
PART 1: Dave Bergner, former superintendent of public works for Overland Park, Kan., and Paul Johnson, operations manager, County of Wellington, Ontario, presented an overview of policy and procedures with a specific focus on the critical information needed to develop a written winter maintenance plan, including:
• Policies: Statutes, ordinances, responsibility and authority.
• Protocols: Levels of service (LOS); generally desired outcome within a period of time under typical conditions.
• Procedures: Details for specific tasks or activities.
• Processes: Methods, materials and machinery to be used depending on circumstances.
• Positions and People: This section defined the organizational structure and identified the number, classification, responsibilities and requirements for personnel.
PART 2: Presented by Jon Tarleton, roads marketing manager for intelligent weather solutions supplier Vaisala, and Warren Nicholishen, roads coordinator for the Regional Municipality of Durham, Ontario.
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