Emergency Support ServicesEmergency Support Services (ESS) is a municipal emergency response program, which provides for the various short term needs of evacuees and response workers in a disaster or emergency situation. Generally, these short term services (up to 72 hours) are required to preserve the emotional and physical well-being of evacuees and response workers affected by an emergency or disaster and are typically provided in a reception centre.
The ESS Plan establishes the overall strategy the City will use to provide these temporary services to those affected by an emergency. It indicates where the designated reception centres are located in the community and it outlines the roles and responsibilities of staff, volunteers and assisting agencies.What is the Role of ESS in a Disaster?
The ESS Program plays an important role in emergency management in B.C. by:
- Helping people to remain independent and self-sufficient
- Helping people to meet their basic survival needs during a disaster
- Reuniting family members separated by a disaster
- Providing people with accurate and up-to-date information about the situation at hand
- Helping people re-establish themselves as quickly as possible after a disaster
- Helping a community work through the recovery process
The City of Richmond's Emergency Programs Branch is working together with local residents, agencies and businesses to increase Richmond's level of emergency preparedness, as well as provide essential needs of people affected by a disaster. Volunteers are the heart of the City's Emergency Programs success. By volunteering, you have the opportunity to give back to the community during an emergency by assisting victims of fires, floods and other major emergencies.What Services are Provided by ESS?
ESS provides temporary relief to individuals and families so they can begin to plan their next steps after an emergency.
ESS provides temporary PRIMARY SERVICES such as:
- family reunification
- personal services
- volunteer services
- public information
- first aid
- pet care
- transportation services
When is ESS Provided?
Although ESS is designed to provide services to individuals affected by large disasters or emergencies, ESS is also provided during smaller scale emergencies, such as home or apartment fires.
Who Provides ESS?
Volunteers are the backbone of ESS.
Volunteers are relied upon in all aspects of an ESS response. Emergency volunteers receive in-depth training to provide: personal assistance to evacuees, play an active role at a reception centre, participate in community special events, attend regular meetings, conduct personal emergency preparedness workshops, and much more.
Emergency Management BC (EMBC) provides support for ESS registered volunteers and furnishes the essential legal authority to recognize volunteer group response as a part of the "official" government response. Thus, volunteer responders become eligible for Worker's Compensation Benefits and liability insurance.
The City of Richmond is partnering with the Canadian Red Cross to deliver Emergency Support Services to Richmond residents displaced by fire and other emergencies. For more information on volunteering, visit the Canadian Red Cross.