Welcome to 2021, not a lot different from 2020, as we continue to live with COVID-19 from day-to-day. In 2020, your RUSA Board and Conference Planning Committee was all geared up to host the 47th annual Health, Safety and Utilities Conference in Red Deer. We had a pretty much finalized schedule when the world shut down that March. Knowing that restrictions would pretty much prevent large gatherings like our conference, we made the hard decision to pull the pin on the annual event for our members and delegates.
Fast forward to 2021, and things looked A LOT BETTER! Alberta was going to be “Open for Summer”, numbers of infections were dropping, things were moving in the right direction, and once again your RUSA Board and Conference Planning Committee met virtually and began gearing up to get back in the saddle and bring you a conference that we all needed. WOW, did we miss the networking with familiar faces; we were so tired of virtual meeting, after meeting, after meeting and not connecting physically with our people. There was so much excitement for us in getting together a conference after so long away! We felt as a Board, that we could pull this off and things looked really good as we had a plan to present this year’s conference in a hybrid manner, with those who wanted to attend virtually from the comfort of their office (home or work), and those who wanted the in-person experience could attend in Red Deer. We were about to meet in-person as a whole group to undertake the final planning when BAM, another Public Health Emergency. Your RUSA Board took a hit at that time. And, boy did we struggle. Not any different from each of you as the pandemic continued to dominate our lives at home and work.
Lots of emergency sessions, emails, phone calls and texts took place. And, we each took a deep breath and came to the realization that if we don’t try and host this conference, the Rural Utilities and Safety Association would NOT exist in 2022. That was a big reality.
Here we are, with our conference date of November 29, 30, December 1 and 2, 2021, just around the corner. WE ARE DOING IT!!!!!
We had done all the contingency planning back in the Spring to be able to successfully do this, but the devastation of being back in a Public Health Emergency took us for a loop and for that we apologize.
BUT WE NEED YOUR HELP to make this successful and ensure that RUSA is around to celebrate 50 years in 2023!!!!
Come join us, your choice in how you attend. VIRTUALLY or IN-PERSON, doesn’t matter to us and that’s why we planned the hybrid to ensure that we provided the perfect experience for YOU.
We will be following all protocols and requirements through the hotel, with the requirement for vaccinations and anything else the province and AHS might throw at us.
If things change, it’s a matter of a flip of the switch and we are all in this together virtually.
We got this and would like to see you soon.
Carole Marciszyn-Peacock President and Zone 2 Director / Rural Utilities Safety Association (RUSA)
Operating since 1973, RUSA is an association made up of rural municipalities, counties, towns, special areas and villages dedicated to the safer working conditions for contractors and the public in general when working near any utility, and in the long term, lower costs to municipalities.
RUSA represents and supports our members in areas of professional development, safety, uniform interpretation and application of appropriate legislation. Originally RUSA was founded for the installation of natural gas in Alberta.
Our mandate is to ensure the safety of contractors, workers, the public and future generations when near any utility in the municipality.
RUSA Mailing address: #235, 4819C-48 Ave, Red Deer, Alberta, T4N 3T2
RUSA works closely with the Alberta Municipal Health and Safety Association (AMHSA) to promote and enhance workplace health and safety for all municipalities located in rural and urban Alberta.