With nearly 20 years of aviation experience with the Canadian carrier, WestJet Airlines, Gillean specializes in crisis management, trauma first-aid, and Special Assistance Teams. She has worked extensively with airport authorities around the world planning in executing disaster response exercises, corporate and airport drills, and tabletop exercises. Gillean has been activated for countless complex Special Assistance Team assignments throughout her career, both domestically and internationally. Having participated in all facets of the airline’s emergency response program, she has responded to aircraft incidents, serious passenger medicals, and responses involving team members or passenger deaths. She was a member of the response team that deployed to the Grand Riviera Princess Hotel in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, as a result of a natural gas explosion in 2010, for which her airline received a corporate humanitarian response award.
Gillean has also participated in highly successful aviation program audits by regulatory agencies, codeshare partners, and aviation organizations, and has worked with global community partners, including Transport Canada, Transportation Safety Board, National Transportation Safety Board, the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, and the Red Cross.
Gillean is qualified to ensure a Special Assistance Team program maintains compliance with the Aviation Disaster Family Assistance Act (US) 1996 and the Foreign Air Carriers Family Assistance Act (US) 1997. She has attended numerous aviation conferences and events and is well-respected by her airline peers around the world. She is certified in grief counseling, trauma first aid; and is also a Red Cross Standard C First Aid & CPR Instructor. In addition to her response and humanitarian skills, Gillean is a skilled Doula who has assisted women of all ages, cultures, and religions through labor and delivery. Gillean resides in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, where she enjoys spending time with her family, riding horses, and enjoying the Canadian Rocky Mountains.