What do Emergency Programs Volunteers do?
Emergency Programs and ESS volunteers assist their communities in many ways, including:
- Providing essential services at a reception centre during an emergency or disaster
- Delivering emergency preparedness educational sessions to the public, community groups or clubs, businesses and schools
- Emergency radio communication
- Translation services
- Providing emotional support to people in need following a disaster
- Identifying potential food, clothing, lodging, pet care, etc. sites
- Participating in meetings, training sessions and exercises
- Helping design and deliver training exercises
- Recruiting and training new volunteers
- Opportunity to meet new people and have fun
- Learn or develop new skills
- Receive training and education
- Build self-esteem and self-confidence
- Feel needed and valued
- Helping the community at a time of need
- Making a difference in someone's life
- Opportunity to travel to other areas during a disaster (i.e. Interior Wild Fires)
- Participating in regional emergency training and event opportunities (i.e. Regional Group Lodging, Celebration of Lights)
- Complete volunteer hours
What if I'm Not Sure What I Can Contribute?
Don't worry, there's something for everyone in our volunteer program. You can meet and greet, help people with forms, help find resources, care for pets, learn about amateur radio, organize files, serve food, provide emotional support, run messages and much more. We need people with many skills sets from various backgrounds. We suggest that you get involved and see what interests you. All we ask is a minimum one-year commitment which requires some basic training, team meetings and participation in exercises before an emergency or disaster occur. Join the ESS Team and help make a difference!
What kind of Liability Protection is Provided to Volunteers?
Registered Emergency Management BC (EMBC) Lifeline Volunteers have three levels of liability insurance:
- Exemption from civil liability (unless grossly negligent)
- $2 million provincial liability insurance
- Good Samaritan Act
When does WCB Cover a Volunteer?
Emergency Social Service Volunteers are covered under the Worker's Compensation Act. Volunteers are covered under four categories:
- Operational tasks
- Training tasks
- Public education and display
See EMBC for more information.
How to get Started?
It is really quite simple to become a volunteer. Following the five simple steps:
- Attend a Public Information Session for Emergency Programs Volunteer Recruitment
- Go to the City of Richmond volunteer website.
- Click on Volunteer at Emergency Programs
- Complete the online registration process after which you will be contacted by the Emergency Management Office regarding your application
- Staff from the Richmond Emergency Management Office will contact you for an interview
- Provide references and complete a police information check
- Complete the required forms, including Emergency Programs Standards of Conduct and Photo Waiver
- Attend an orientation and complete provided introductory training
For further information, please call at 604-233-3333 or email Emergency Programs at firstname.lastname@example.org.