Employee Profile: Gavin Mercredi at Team Drilling
Gavin Mercredi has been working as a Drill Assistant with Team Drilling for the past eight years. He started with the company back when Team was still a new startup, and has been with them ever since. “Back in 2009, a friend told me there was a job opening with Team,” says Gavin, “No experience was needed, so I applied and got a call back and then I started. It happened quickly, and I’ve been working here ever since.”
Originally from Fond du Lac, Gavin has been living in Black Lake for the past twelve years. While sometimes his work brings him away from his home community, the “two and two” schedule (two weeks in, two weeks out) allows him to live in his home community while earning a living. “In my off time, I like to spend time with my family, traveling, and go fishing with my fiancée – stuff I do at home,” he says.
Gavin’s position as Drill Assistant provides help to the Drill Operator, who is in charge of the drilling operation. On a typical work day, the team will be coring for samples. Gavin will be emptying tubes, adding rods, and boxing core while the Drill Operator works the machine, drilling over 460 meters down. “It takes about a week to drill a hole, but it depends,” says Gavin. “Sometimes, you run into rocks that are harder to get through. If something breaks down, there’s waiting time.”
The work takes place all year long, and is entirely outdoors. “It’s not office work,” says Gavin, “We have the same work to do in summer as we do in winter. We do have a shack, a roughly 20 foot by fourteen foot shack. There’s no bathroom or anything like that. In the winter we use heaters, and in the summer, it’s as hot in the shack as it is outside, so it gets really hot in July. My favourite season to drill is the fall season, because the weather is nice – not too hot, not too cold.” The job also involves some travel. “I’ve been all around Saskatchewan,” says Gavin, “All around the province there’s summer jobs or winter jobs for exploration. I mostly go to Cigar Lake, Points North, and lots of exploration jobs in the bushes.”
When he first started with Team Drilling, Gavin had no prior experience but was provided with training. Team Drilling has a unique training program where the company provides mentors for new drillers from the Athabasca region, and the company absorbs the cost of the mentors – this has resulted in great success in training people who are new to drilling. “We had two days of orientation training, and then First Aid training and the safety program,” says Gavin. “They also brought in an extra person to show me, the person who knows how to work the drills, and you work with them for at least a week before you work by yourself – until you are comfortable doing it. It worked very well for me and didn’t take me long to get comfortable.”
Gavin would recommend the job to others. “It’s challenging work, you get to go new places, work outside, and it’s a really good company,” he says, “the managers are really good with people. And you don’t always work with the same person – in the past, I’ve worked with lots of guys, and it’s nice to get to know different people.”
Gavin’s plans are to continue working with Team Drilling for the foreseeable future. He recently started training to move into a Driller position. “I really like my job and I like how it works around my life,” says Gavin. “I am very excited to be starting training for the Driller position, and I can see myself working here for a long time yet.”
Team Drilling provides industry leading underground, surface, and specialty drilling services. Bringing over 80 years experience to every project, Team has a proven history of providing clients with long-term, safe and productive drilling services.