Father, skier, freestyle mogul slope-style judge, former RCMP officer, emergency management expert. Jim Martin wears many hats in addition to his official one as Health and Safety Manager for Pursuit’s Banff Jasper Collection.
Although Jim's background in emergency response is unique, he joined the Pursuit team in 2019 for the same reason as most of his colleagues—to work in the mountains with like-minded people.
One year later, Jim’s expertise has been invaluable in guiding the safety and well-being of our Pursuit team and guests through an unprecedented global shift.
From the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to Pursuit
You might not expect that an attractions and hospitality company would be the natural transition for someone retiring from a 25-year career with the RCMP. But according to Jim, they’re a lot more closely connected than you think.
“The guest interaction is the most important component of what we do at Pursuit,” says Jim. “The RCMP is similar – it’s all about communicating with people, building that human-to-human connection.”
Jim has also found common ground in the team atmosphere. He says that in the RCMP, it's referred to as Esprit de Corps – a shared pride and sense of purpose. “As a Pursuit team, we have the same internal spirit and camaraderie,” Jim says. “Everyone is here with a genuine purpose.”
Rewriting the Pandemic Playbook
That strong team spirit has held steady through the past two months of uncertainty and rapid change. Jim says he'll always remember how resilient the team has been since day one.
And while he's been involved in emergency response for natural disasters in Alberta like the Slave Lake fire and Pine Lake tornado, and participated in planning and security for G8 Summits and the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, this situation is unprecedented for everyone. Jim says that his experience has helped him prepare for a situation like COVID-19, but that he has never dealt with anything quite like this before.
“The interesting thing was that when we opened up the pandemic plans [written after SARS] it was clear that we had to rewrite the playbook,” Jim says. “There were great components to build on, but everything had to be adapted and modified. This truly has been an unprecedented situation, and we’ve learned so much from it.”
Gearing up for the New Normal
These key learnings will come into play as we think about reopening Pursuit experiences. And so will the team spirit that Jim is counting on. He says he has been inspired by the courage he’s seen in team members supporting each other to make the right decisions.
“Everyone trusts each other to think logically with Safety First in mind,” Jim says. “That was paramount to keeping everyone healthy when we were ramping down operations, and it’ll be just as essential as we think about the day when we can reopen our doors.”
Jim is one of many people at Pursuit who are now fully focused on evolving our experiences to keep guests and staff safe in the future. This involves team members at every level and in every department.
Jim points to one colleague who found a disinfectant product from Germany that allows for thorough cleaning of all surfaces within an enclosed space. The team has now sourced and purchased this product, and Jim refers to it as a "game-changer". It’s just one element of a comprehensive plan that Jim’s team has ready for when the time comes.
“Our responsibility right now is to continue to follow government guidelines, as we have always done,” says Jim. “And when they feel that it’s safe for us to move forward, we’ll already have our best practices in place to do that.”
Safety First at the Forefront
Amidst all of the minute details that Jim and his colleagues are working through, they're keeping the human element in mind. He says they're looking at mitigating risk at the highest possible level throughout operations, which will serve them well as standards are set and guests return.
“At the end of the day, our world will look different moving forward,” he says. “But I’m confident that we’ll still be able to deliver the hospitality and guest experience that people are looking for—and we’ll do it safely.”
To learn more about Pursuit's Safety Promise, our commitment to the safety and well-being of our guests and staff, please visit here.