Introducing… a security lead hand
Gary St. Julien is the security lead hand at McMaster University Medical Centre (MUMC), McMaster Children’s Hospital (MCH), and Ron Joyce Children’s Health Centre (RJCHC). He has worked at Hamilton Health Sciences for 12 years.
Tell us about your first day at HHS. I was 21 years old and fresh out of college. At this point, I really didn’t know much about Hospital Security, but I was very proud to be working at McMaster Children’s Hospital. I remember being called STAT to the ER Department to deal with an intoxicated patient. The patient was 6’5 and weighed 300 pounds. I was nervous, to say the least!
“What I love the most about my job is helping people…I have the opportunity to be a lending ear and offer support.”
What do you love most about your job? I love that no day is ever the same. You can go from helping someone get in & out of a car, to running in response to a Code White. I think what I love the most about my job is helping people. Being able to help hospital staff with day to day issues and help patients who may be going through a crisis, are characteristics I love about my job. I have the opportunity to be a lending ear and offer support.
Describe your most challenging days at work. Whenever I think I have solved all of the problems, another one comes knocking at my door. It can be frustrating when you have other uncompleted tasks, but you have to prioritize. Just when I think I am getting ahead, I get called to assist staff with a patient who is not cooperating. Needless to say, my days go by very fast.
What do you wish you had more time for at work? Sitting down with my colleagues for extra face to face time, is something I wish I had more time for. There are definitely days that I may only speak to them on the phone from my office because of my workload. I believe it is important to find one on one time with your employees; it’s how strong relationships with trust are built.
What is one thing people would be surprised to learn about you? I have a part time job as a Crisis Line Operator/Support Counsellor at a Federal Halfway house.
What are your favourite ways to spend your free time? I have 2 daughters, a 5 year old named Olivia and a 2 year old named Leia. Any chance I get to be with them helps me forget about any stress I may have. I also really enjoy running. It definitely helps keep me focused and relieve any stress.
“I always want to achieve success at a high rate and to me that means never being content with what I have.”
Tell us about your most gratifying experience at HHS. While I was working at Juravinski Hospital. I was called outside in the middle of the night to help someone who wanted to jump off the top floor of the Concession St. parking ramp. I took the elevator up to the roof. When I got off and she looked at me and said, “Don’t come any closer or I will jump!” I told her my name and that I was Security. She told me she wanted to end her life.
After 20 minutes of talking to her, she took my hand and came down from the ledge. I had so many emotions running through my body. My adrenaline was racing and my hands were shaking. This situation could have gone a different direction. I was very thankful she was able to listen to my voice and get her the help that she needed.
What are your short and long term career goals? I always want to achieve success at a high rate and to me that means never being content with what I have. My goal is to continue to build our department by strengthening the relationships security has with other departments within our organization. I love working for Hamilton Health Sciences. I see it as a lifelong career for me.