Heather Stewart joined Beacon in June 2012 as a Health Safety, Security, and Environmental Technician (HSSET) on ocean-going vessels.
“My first hitch,” said Stewart, “was on an ice-breaker anchor-handling tugboat. We were located in the North Sea off Sweden within the Arctic Circle. The tug worked keeping ice out of the way of the drilling ships. Our rotations were typically three weeks on and three weeks off. I still work as an HSSET and am typically out on ships during the summer months. Last year I was in the South Pacific running a clinic where the crew was sampling and graphing the ocean floor.”
On the vessels Stewart works on and remote sites in general, there are typically very tight quarters. Disease can spread quickly without a proactive health and safety regime in place. “We work to keep everyone aware at all times of potential health impacts,” said Stewart. “This includes flu shots, sanitation, food safety, and personal hygiene. Always being sensitive to folks from different cultures–where some of these habits may be unfamiliar.”
When asked about Beacon’s core values Stewart said: “The core values are the biggest reason I came to Beacon. The culture is very family oriented and there is always something to do with coworkers. For first-time clients I work to get to know them as people and understand any health issues that we need to stay on top of. I love having fun with people and Beacon provides me the opportunity to do this.”
Before coming to Beacon, Stewart was a firefighter medic in Kodiak and got “burned out” (no pun intended). “At Beacon,” said Stewart, “I was able to get back into medicine and also learned and began practicing occupational medicine. The people around you make a big difference. They are all extremely supportive and always there to help.”
“Management works to support you in continuing your education and providing opportunity for advancement.” said Stewart. “The clinical cross training gave me the confidence to pursue going forward in my medical training.”
When asked what advice she would give to someone who is considering joining Beacon, Stewart replied: “I have recommended friends and family with the expectation that they will need to give everything they have to the job. If you put your time in Beacon, they will be take care of you in more ways than you can imagine. If you want to get away from being a number and being a person, this is where you want to be.”
In her free time, Stewart loves to play hockey, fish, hunt, and ride ATVs and snowmachines as well as build models.
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