2019 Q2 Newsletter - 2019 Leo Sichewski Memorial Bursary Winner: Amber Rushton

A former music teacher, Amber Rushton fell into the diverse worlds of hazardous materials, environmental emergency response and emergency planning.

Currently a Business Continuity & Emergency Planning Coordinator with the City of Burlington Fire Department, Amber also works with ERAC on a contract basis, primarily in emergency response planning.

“I’ve worked in emergency response and emergency management in various capacities for the last 12 years,” says Amber. “The primary constant driver is that of the welfare and protection of the general public.”

This led Amber to pursue her Master of Public Safety at Wilfrid Laurier University. The master's degree program is Canada's first and only program of its kind, created in alignment with Public Safety Canada.

Amber is the 2019 recipient of the ERAC Leo Sichewski Memorial Bursary. In memory of Leo, a valued 24-year veteran of ERAC, the bursary allows ERAC responders, employees, Plan Participants, and family members of the previously mentioned, to access up to up to $2,000 annually for educational purposes.

When asked her biggest learning from her program so far, Amber replied, “The United Nations Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and its application to communities and businesses alike. The framework and score cards consist of ten core areas in which communities and businesses can work together to prevent against potential threats and mitigate disaster impacts, ensuring continuity of governance, essential services and public safety is achieved.”

As the wife of a first responder, and employee of a first response entity, undoubtedly Amber understands the importance of the role of first responders in Canada.

“First responders in Canada serve as the initial response entity; those that respond to the initial trauma, the initial destruction, the initial threats and impacts to life safety, critical infrastructure and the environment.”

Amber is a sincere asset to the field of emergency management, and her passion shows.

“My path has led me to public safety and emergency management and I’m undoubtedly wired for it. As far as I’m concerned, my journey is just beginning.”