Safety Comes First for EXPO Events

By Marisa Peters

Schoug is the Manager of Safety and Security at EXPO. She started off at EXPO (formerly known as Northlands) in 2002. Her career took her to various places from waitressing, to working the casino at the racetrack.

“I spent a year there and then left to have some babies,” says Schoug. “As a mother, I wanted something part-time. I was told to try security for the hours.”

Mothers tend to understand the ins and outs of safety. Schoug, who is now in the top security position has been working in security ever since.

“I was a security guard, I became a security supervisor, I was a manager…now look where I am,” she says.

“Our electronic dance music events fall under a city bylaw,” said Schoug. “A part of that is coming up with an Emergency Response Plan (ERP) which outlines everything from where smoking areas will be, to where cool down areas are, and of course, we’re required to provide water. We have harm reduction areas. We even provide condoms.

“At concerts, people will line up at the barricades near the stage and once they’re there, they typically don’t leave. So, water is made available, always. We bring pitchers around or even little cups. It’s part of our Standard Operating Procedures.”

The Emergency Response Plans are developed with the City of Edmonton, the Edmonton Police Service, Alberta Health Services, among others.

“It’s a collaborative effort to make these events successful,” says Schoug.

“We specifically tailor the ERPs to the events,” adds March.

March, a relatively composed man, is nearly giddy when describing this piece of technology.

“If a vehicle hits it, it’ll push back, dig into the pavement, and prevent the vehicle from going forward. The barrier itself will go up into the vehicles engine and disable the vehicle from within.”

Throughout the interview, neither Schoug nor March skipped a beat when listing the various safety procedures required to keep things locked down. There is little spared in the way of safety precautions at EXPO, and we can be sure that with both on the clock, our events will run smoothly with peace of mind for guests.

When asked whether she plans to stay in security and safety beyond her two decades Schoug says:

“I’m just hoping to win the lottery one day.”

Aren’t we all.