Not Your Typical Office: Life at WCMRC


Working at WCMRC isn’t your average job.

We are emergency responders on the water, protecting the environment from pollutants. WCMRC employs people from different backgrounds with varying skills. Our in-field team consists of mariners like deckhands, engineers, and masters but at the end of the day, we are all spill technicians protecting the West Coast. Our shoreside bases are also committed to the environment, acting as support centres for field operations. Everyone, in their own way and with their own specific set of expertise, contributes to the protection of wildlife, economic and environmental sensitivities, and the safety of both responders and the public.

As the only Transport Canada-certified marine response organization on Canada’s West Coast, we respond to roughly 20 spills per year.

Life at WCMRC

We’re not your average marine career. Our employees don’t stay out to sea for weeks at a time — working here, you’ll be home almost every night, sleeping in your own bed. You’ll work a regular shift and, barring any extended training program or emergency spill situations, be home for time with the family every day.

WCMRC occupies a unique space within the workforce. We are both emergency responders and mariners.

“[WCMRC is] a merger of two styles of industry — from the emergency response side of things, we do a lot of training, drilling, preparing and increasing our readiness to respond to an emergency while also maintaining our equipment from a mechanical side of things. We have to keep our marine skills sharp because we do operate in the marine environment, so a lot of our training and drilling and exercising and equipment deployments and certification exercises with Transport Canada all occur in the marine field.

Plus, we have a big division of our company that works in Incident Management. They work shoreside, managing the incident from a command post. So, it’s a big industry and new hires can expect to be learning and training and exercising in whatever capacity that they join us in.” – Kyle Hujdic, Base Operations Supervisor, Sidney

Getting Started

Training at WCMRC is often hands-on. A new hire can expect to learn the skills necessary to be an emergency spill responder right away.

“We know that we’re in a unique subset of the marine industry. People come from different backgrounds — very few have worked in actual spill response before. Our company is designed so that you can take people from these diverse backgrounds and train them in-house to put their skills to use, hone new skills, and refine their techniques to apply to this industry.” – Kyle Hujdic

Since the training and skills are very hands-on, it’s different from a traditional degree you might obtain in university or college. You spend time learning and building your education both in a classroom setting and on the water.

Perks at WCMRC

Andrea Simmonds-Coleman, WCMRC’s Recruiting Specialist, states that besides the competitive pay, bonuses and benefits packages, one of the best perks to working with the WCMRC is the “office space”. When you’re working on BC’s West Coast, you have a view that never gets old. Otters, whales, and the best sunsets on this side of the horizon can make up your view.

Plus, Andrea is quick to mention that the people who work for WCMRC are more like a family than coworkers. “We tend to have a tight-knit group because we were so small for so long. In the last 2 years, we’ve grown from 35 to about 100,” Andrea states. “Everyone’s pretty social with each other. Lots of people are out hunting and fishing on weekends together. It’s a fairly casual environment.”

Future Careers at  WCMRC

One of the greatest perks, however, is the opportunity for growth at WCMRC. The different departments offer opportunity for new hires to discover skills that they excel in and then hone those skills into a career.

“If you come into the deckhand position, there’s no reason why you couldn’t work your way into other roles or advance in a career on the maintenance side of things,” Kyle states. “There’s an entire training department where people might find a home for their skills. It’s such a diverse company and group of people that it takes to do this job, there’s a lot of opportunities.”

24-Hour Spill Emergency Line

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