First Female Rescuer at Power Operations

Claudine Tremblay devient la première femme sauveteuse, formée et active, à exercer ce rôle

Claudine Tremblay, Attendant in the Lac-Saint-Jean area at the Chute-du-Diable power station, has mastered the challenges of confined space and working-at-height rescue training with flying colours. She has become the first trained and active female rescuer at Power Operations.

For Claudine Tremblay, a truck driver by trade, this training was a chance to challenge herself. A CrossFit and fitness enthusiast, she went in feeling rather confident about her performance.

“I expected it to be easier! I’ve always had jobs that were physically challenging. I’ve shovelled a lot of asphalt in my life as a truck driver. I’m someone who works out and makes sure I stay in shape,” she says.

The training is very thorough. Future rescuers learn how to use a gas detector and self-contained self-rescuer, while crawling on the ground to enter confined spaces.


“There is a lot of theory and practice. It’s physically demanding. It’s a great personal challenge that I’m proud to have taken on,” says Claudine Tremblay.

Claudine Tremblay and trainer Michel Tremblay.

Training Based in Real-life Situations

Since Power Operations facilities do not have a fire station with an emergency brigade, rescuers are internal employees. For the past 18 years, Michel Tremblay, a confined space and working-at-height rescue trainer, has been passing on his knowledge on this topic, which he is enthusiastic about.

The 50-hour confined space and working-at-height rescue training is open to anyone who is interested. The first two days are devoted to medical first aid training, where participants learn how to perform rescue tasks by stabilising the victim and ensuring adequate oxygenation. The next two days focus on confined space rescue, concluding with a fifth day dedicated to working-at-height rescue (crane and scaffolding).

To immerse the rescuers in a learning situation, Michel Tremblay uses his acting skills to recreate a rescue scenario that is as close to real life as possible. The pressure builds and the experience leaves a lasting impression on all involved. “You need a lot of composure to keep your analytical skills sharp,” says the trainer.

Claudine Tremblay is a go-getter who has proven to be remarkably efficient during emergencies. As a long-time Red Cross rescuer, she already knew what rescue operations entailed, so she made sure that every step went smoothly.

“Claudine must be running on plutonium! She has energy to spare, and it’s awesome. She’s very bright,” says Michel Tremblay. “She sees things clearly and puts the techniques into practice. She was always one step ahead of the team. She knew what to expect, so she always had the equipment we needed. The other guys only had to turn around and everything was ready.”

Claudine Tremblay greatly enjoyed taking the confined space and height rescue training, crediting much of her success to her instructor’s professionalism and experience.

“Michel is a very devoted trainer. We were in good hands. He’s a good leader who knew how to coach us. I would be willing to do this kind of training again any day.”

For Michel Tremblay, what makes the training so great is seeing people get involved and take on the challenge as a team.