Emergency Support Services
Emergency Support Services (ESS) is a municipal emergency response program enabled to provide support to evacuees and response workers during a disaster or emergency situation. ESS Volunteers perform an important role in Vernon's emergency response.
The program provides short term services to meet the basic emotional and physical well-being needs of evacuees and response workers impacted by the disaster. Residents who have been ordered out of their homes may qualify for up to 72 hours of food, shelter and incidentals and in some cases resources for clothing transportation and medical needs. Under the Province's Evacuee Living Assistance Policy, ESS volunteers complete Referral Forms to authorize local vendors' supplies and services. ESS can be delivered remotely for small events, but most often is delivered centrally in a Reception Centre facility.
The City of Vernon engages ESS volunteers, who like counterparts around the Province, are the heart of the program. In addition to the ESS volunteers and registered local vendors, the City of Vernon also works with community groups and staff to maintain a level of ESS preparedness. Additional convergent volunteers may also be engaged to provide ESS services during large scale events.
Emergency Support Services Volunteers :
- Help people meet their basic survival needs during a disaster
- Help people re-establish themselves as quickly as possible after a disaster
- Reunite family members separated by a disaster
- Provide people with accurate and up-to-date information about the situation at hand
Emergency Support Services Volunteers deliver the Provincial Evacuee Living Assistance benefits which can provide temporary relief (often up to 72 hours) to residents evacuated from their homes so they can begin to plan their next steps after being impacted by an emergency.
- provide access to temporary resources for evacuees
- establish supplier arrangements for restaurants, grocery and clothing stores, hotels, etc.
- activate predesignated facilities for Reception Center and/or Group Lodgings as safe places for evacuees to receive information and assistance
The Vernon ESS team relies on volunteers to work as part of a team. Similar to other emergency responders, between events we prepare, plan, train and practice our ability to respond in a timely, competent manner.
The team meets monthly (the 3rd Wednesday of the month between September and June) at the OK Landing Conference and ESS Building, 7210 Okanagan Landing Road, Vernon BC.
ESS volunteers are provided specialized ESS training . Training is delivered on-line and/or through classroom sessions hosted by Vernon ESS or a neighbouring team.
Within the first three months of joining Vernon ESS, all volunteers are expected to complete:
And, within the first two years the following additional training:
- EMRG-1607 - Level One Response
- EMRG-1610 - Introduction to Reception Centres
- EMRG-1615 - Registration & Referrals
Volunteers will be eligible to participate in additional training that may include:
- EMRG-1611 - Reception Centre Applied Training
- EMRG-1612 - Introduction to Group Lodging
- EMRG-1613 - Group Lodging Applied Training
- EMRG-1624 - Resource Acquisition
- EMRG-1645 - Managing Walk-In Disaster Volunteers
- EMRG-1660 - Public Safety Lifeline Leadership
- EMRG-1671 - Emergency Social Services Site Management