Amber Sheasgreen may be a new face at Headquarters in East Sooke, but she’s no stranger to RCMSAR.  For nearly seven years, Amber volunteered with Station 64, Prince Rupert fulfilling the roles of Coxswain, SAR Prevention Manager and Office Staff.

Starting full time in November, Amber has a new role to play as Operations Manager with RCMSAR. The team at RCMSAR Headquarters is thrilled to have Amber join us, and to introduce her to members who’ve not yet met her, we asked Amber about her new role, her RCMSAR background and what the move from Prince Rupert to Victoria has been like.

What attracted or motivated you to apply for the Operations Manager position?

I’ve enjoyed being an RCMSAR volunteer since I joined over 6 years ago. I always found myself surrounded by a great team, felt super fulfilled and engaged, and was attracted to the supportive community welfare aspect. Throughout the years, I have had a hand in recruitment, fundraising, training, ambassador activities, and operations within my own unit, Station 64, in the north, and at a director level, and constantly found myself constantly looking for new opportunities to continue contributing to the organization.

The posting of the Operations Manager role was very timely for me. I had just completed my EMBA a few months earlier and saw it as an amazing opportunity to couple my business background with my skills and experience as an on the ground volunteer. With a great HQ team to work beside, I was excited for the chance to be a part of the ongoing growth and support of RCMSAR at a higher level.

What are you most looking forward to as part of your new role?

Working with an enthusiastic team, showcasing and representing RCMSAR at the WMRC in June 2019, and helping the organization grow strategically and professionally to reflect the dedication, training and experience our volunteers and our organization bring to the table.

What are some of your priorities for the coming year?

  • Working with stations to help better understand and meet their operational and training needs with a focus on streamlining our new Coxswain Leadership courses
  • Establish ongoing relationships with CCG liaisons and other partners to promote joint training, working together, and safety and support in our communities
  • Exploring this beautiful new area!!

How did your experience as a coxswain & SAR Prevention Officer with Station 64 help prepare you for this change?

I feel as though, having gone through the whole crew training program from new crew to Coxswain level, along with various other roles I took on at Station 64 operationally, offers me a good understanding of the progressive certification system our volunteers have and will be going through, as well as many of diverse challenges faced at the station level, allowing me to provide insights on proposed operational or strategic changes as well as field questions and answers from members.

Helping with SAREX 2018 was one of your very first duties with RCMSAR HQ – what was that experience like?

A lot of the organizational and planning work had already gone into SAREX 2018 by the hardworking team here at HQ, but I was very fortunate to have my first few days participating in this event. It was a fabulous feeling and experience meeting so many of our amazing volunteers, working with our partners, and witnessing the great training and work our members have dedicated so many hours to. I was excited to get hands on with our members and partners and lend a helping hand where I could. Everyone made me feel welcomed and I am already looking forward to next year.

How do you see your role in working with stations and crews?

I hope to be the liaison between HQ and our stations and crews to not only support training and operational initiatives but address any challenges they might be facing. I like to operate with an open-door policy, and welcome questions, comments, and feedback, as we work together to strengthen our stations across the board.

As you’ve only been in Victoria for a couple of weeks, how is the adjustment from Prince Rupert to Vancouver Island?

I’d be lying if I didn’t admit I am missing my community and friends back home in Prince Rupert a bit, but at the same time, everyone I have met here so far has been extremely friendly, and I am looking forward to my personal tour from our admin assistant Cassy at head office 😉