Red Deer’s Arresting you Ltd. owner Frank Murray started the company about 25 years ago. Murray says it’s a tough financial decision to shut the company. Photo by Mamta Lulla/Advocate staff

‘It used to be non-stop booming’

Red Deer oilfield-related company shutting its doors after 25 years

The owner of a Red Deer oilfield-related company says the decision to close the doors was a tough one.

Safety orientation is the first thing to be cut and the last thing to come back during an economic downturn, explained Frank Murray, who owns Arresting You Ltd., a safety training company.

“We used up our nest egg of savings to try to get over the hump. It’s made us realize that this model is not working, and if there is no labour working, there’s no need for training,” he said.

“So we’re basically stopping the bleeding by choosing to go out of business instead of waiting until they take the business.”

Murray, 63, started Arresting You Ltd. about 25 years ago. The company provides training in fall protection for rig workers, confined space entry and rescue, fork lift operator training and other instruction.

The company, located in the Edgar industrial area, will be closing Oct. 31.

Business has been scarce since the change in federal and provincial governments in 2015, and because of negativity toward the Canadian oil industry ever since, said Murray.

Company manager Eleanor Knutson said much of the business’s former client base is now working in the United States.

More than 90 per cent of the western Canadian drilling fleet has “moved some of their iron south, and the iron up here is parked,” said Murray, which means the workers follow the equipment.

Knutson points out there are advantages to working in the oil and gas sector in the U.S., where there are few protests.

“With the same equipment, Canadian people working there, and in Alberta, in Canada, we have this idea that our oil is bad,” she said.

She said regulations around the industry are more rigorous in Canada, with higher safety guidelines and supervision.

Canadians are opposing their own natural resources and turning a blind eye to what is happening elsewhere, said Knutson.

“And I think that’s a point people need to ask themselves. We have all these controls. Why are we turning a blind eye to other countries that aren’t doing anything near what we’ve been doing?”

There’s also a new trend to take safety courses online. Murray agrees some courses may be more efficient to learn that way, but a lot of safety training is hands on and cannot be mastered on a screen.

“For 25 years, we’ve been forging forward with the level of expertise you’d expect from a high-end professional,” he said.

The two said the decision to close the business is bittersweet, and is part of growing pattern in the region.

The difference between boom and bust is visible in the Edgar industrial area, said Knutson. In the mid 2000s, the drive from Highway 11A (from the Highway 2 overpass near Blue Grass Sod, Nursery and Garden Centre) to the office at Arresting You used to take about 20 minutes.

“It used to be non-stop booming. There’s no one coming into the park now.”

The difference is stark. For example, the company hasn’t had neighbours for years now.

“It was still consistently busy until 2014. With the start of winter is when things started to go down,” and they haven’t turned around, said Knutson.

The company will host an auction Oct. 26 at 7459 Edgar Industrial Bend at Bay 5 and 6.

Do you know of any other companies shutting down in Red Deer or central Alberta area? Let us know at mamta.lulla@reddeeradvocate.com.



mamta.lulla@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Mustard Seed to launch new wellness centre in Red Deer

A new service is coming to Red Deer to help the city’s… Continue reading

Penhold firefighters handle ‘difficult’ blaze

Penhold firefighters battled a “difficult” blaze Friday afternoon. Fire crews were called… Continue reading

Clearwater County firefighter recruitment campaign deemed a success

A firefighter recruitment campaign is being considered a success by Clearwater County.… Continue reading

Dems say oust Trump or he’ll betray again; ‘He is who he is’

WASHINGTON — Closing out their case, House Democrats warned Friday in Donald… Continue reading

Senators may have to rein in activism in minority Parliament: new govt rep

OTTAWA — Independent senators may have to curb their enthusiasm for amending… Continue reading

Fashion Fridays: The basics you need for your body type

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Your community calendar

Feb. 1 A Jump Rope Competition will be held at the Abbey… Continue reading

Photos: Strong turnout for 38th annual Oilmen’s Bonspiel

The 38th annual Red Deer Oilmen’s Bonspiel is well underway at the… Continue reading

St. John’s, N.L., lifts state of emergency eight days after massive storm

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — The City of St. John’s has lifted a… Continue reading

Former cabinet minister Peter MacKay announces Tory leadership bid

STELLARTON, N.S. — Former federal cabinet minister Peter MacKay says he will… Continue reading

No winning ticket for Friday night’s $17 million Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — No winning ticket was sold for the $17 million jackpot… Continue reading

French doctor: Virus from China seems less serious than SARS

PARIS — The lead doctor treating two Paris hospital patients for the… Continue reading

Trump lawyer says Dems want to ‘overturn’ last election

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s lawyers opened their impeachment trial defence Saturday… Continue reading

Democratic candidates pour into Iowa for last-minute push

DES MOINES, Iowa — Freed momentarily from the Senate’s impeachment trial, several… Continue reading

Most Read