Written by: Kelly Banks
“I love to brighten a child’s day.” – An interview with Caroline Cross, Crossing Guard for the Ottawa Safety Council
We sat down with one of our favourite Crossing Guards, Caroline Cross, to talk about what it is about being a Guard that keeps bringing her back year after year. Caroline has been a Crossing Guard with the Ottawa Safety Council since 2012, based out of Kanata. She has covered several different intersections for several different schools in the Kanata area over the years.
Caroline has always gone above and beyond to ensure the safety of the children and pedestrians that she crosses daily. In 2017 Caroline was a Finalist in the Community Safety awards through Crime Prevention Ottawa, after being nominated by Councillor Hubley, who has really supported her and the other Crossing Guards in his ward. Together with Councillor Hubley, Caroline successfully implemented a Community School Safety Zone at one of the more dangerous intersections she has worked at.
Here is what Caroline had to say about her years with the OSC as a Guard:
- Can you tell me a little about yourself?
Hi there, my name is Caroline Cross. I’m 50 years old and I have lived in Ottawa for nearly 18 years after moving from the UK in June 2000 with my husband and my 19-year-old daughter. My hobbies are traveling, walking, music. I love going to Bluesfest – I’ve even Volunteered. I live every day to the fullest.
- Why did you want to be a Crossing Guard?
I decided I wanted a change from working in retail after nearly 11 years and wanted a job that would give me more time with my family. I wanted a job that I could still work with children, be outside, be a positive role model and be social, and at the same time make sure everyone was safe!
- What do you enjoy the most about being a Crossing Guard?
All the children and parents I meet at all of the different intersections that I cover. I am currently a Backup Guard this year, covering for Guards who are off, so I have worked at all different intersections in all of Kanata and Stittsville. I love to brighten up a child’s day/night, as I am their first contact before going to school, or going home at night after school finishes. I also love all of the public feedback thanking us for the job we do – it means a lot!
- Do you have any memorable moments as a Crossing Guard?
Yes, quite a few actually!
I love that I have been able to be an advocate for pedestrian and school zone safety as a Crossing Guard in Ottawa. One of the highlights recently was returning to my first Intersection from 6 years ago and seeing the children I used to cross when they were younger, most of them are now in high school but they all still remembered me.
I have also been interviewed on CBC twice, talking about being a Crossing Guard and what things we face in our Job.
I have also had the opportunity to train many new Crossing Guards in the last few years, and I always love hearing positive feedback from them. When I train a Guard my goal is for them to be fully confident in their job and surroundings. If they aren’t at first I will ask them to come back again until they are ready.
I love my job, as I am very passionate about it. I still get asked if it’s a volunteer job, which it isn’t.
- Thanks so much for chatting with us Caroline. We are so lucky to have our on our School Zone Safety team. Any last words to add?
I want to thank the Ottawa Safety Council for all the support they have given me up to now and to all the Crossing Guards in Ottawa for the great job they do all over this City of ours, in all of the different weather conditions we get throughout the year.
For more information on how you can give back to your community, get outside and be active while keeping kids safe, visit https://www.ottawasafetycouncil.ca/get-involved/
Is there a Crossing Guard in your community doing an outstanding job? Say thanks and show them you appreciate them today: https://www.ottawasafetycouncil.ca/thankyou/