“Emergency preparedness is an incredibly important function and I take pride in my role supporting the team.”

- Sarah Barnes

Where are you from and tell me a bit about yourself.

I grew up in Conception Bay South, where I live today with my husband, three children, two cats and one blue tongue skink. We have plans to add a dog to the mix this summer. As a family we enjoy camping and spending time outside and with family and friends. Outside of work I volunteer with the local Girl Guides Brownie Unit and also serve as a Level 2 Official with Synchronized Swimming, NL. Life is busy and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

Give me a sense for your education and work experience. How did you end up as the Emergency Management Advisor at Suncor Energy?

I received a Bachelor of Science Degree from Memorial University where I majored in Geography and minored in Geology. I followed up my degree with a Post Graduate Diploma in Integrated Coastal and Oceans Management at the Marine Institute. A work term placement with Eastern Canada Response Corporation (ECRC) was my first exposure to Emergency and Oil Spill Response and Preparedness and after graduating, I held a number of environmental jobs that eventually led me back to ECRC where I supported their Offshore Operators Preparedness Program. Through my experience I established a great deal of respect and appreciation for the importance operators place on spill prevention and emergency response.

 

What exactly is your role as an Emergency Management Advisor?

As an Emergency Management Advisor, it’s my accountability to work with our business to maintain and improve our regional emergency response plans and processes. This includes coordination of emergency response exercises which test the team’s ability to respond. Should an incident occur, I support the provision and maintenance of offshore spill response equipment, including working closely with ECRC and other response contractors.

 

What do you enjoy most about your work?

With a focus on safe and reliable production, our operators are committed to mitigating any issues or incidents that could have an impact on our people or the environment. But if something were to occur, it’s important to be prepared. Emergency preparedness is an incredibly important function and I take pride in my role supporting the team.

Another important piece of my job satisfaction is work-life balance. My role is located in St. John’s and the location allows me and my husband to hold meaningful careers while remaining close to our friends and families… that gives me enormous satisfaction.

“The oil and gas industry has opened the door for us, giving us the opportunity to have good jobs, provide for our children and be a part of an exciting time as the industry progresses forward.”

Why do you choose to live in NL?

Newfoundland and Labrador is our home. Our family and friends are here. Our support network is here. The oil and gas industry has opened the door for us, giving us the opportunity to have good jobs, provide for our children and be a part of an exciting time as the industry progresses forward.

 

What keeps you busy when you’re not working?

My days start with getting four people (myself included) up, dressed, fed and out the door. Like any working mom I put in hours of work before I arrive at the office. Our evenings are filled with homework, supper and bedtime. Our home schedule is busy and revolves primarily around the children. We stay up late and have movie night every Saturday. Staying organized is important and scheduling downtime with each other is just as much a priority as getting the dishes done.

Contributor bio

Young woman laughing while looking into the distance

Sarah Barnes, Emergency Management Advisor, E&P East Coast
Suncor Energy

Sarah Barnes is an Emergency Management Advisor with Suncor Energy’s East Coast E&P division. A native of Conception Bay South, NL, Sarah started in the industry with ECRC in 2009, before joining Suncor in 2015.