What Do Emergency Volunteers Do?
ESS volunteers are required for a variety of assignments in the event of a response to an emergency. Volunteers may also be required for pre-planning prior to an event.
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 sites for food, clothing, lodging, pet care, etc.
- Participating in meetings, training sessions and exercises.
- Recruiting and training new volunteers.
What If I Am Not Sure What I Can Contribute?
There is something for everyone in our ESS program. During a response you can greet people as they arrive at a reception centre, 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. You can also help with day to day tasks like planning for community events, speaking to people about emergency preparedness, or organizing training activities. We need people of all ages and skill sets. We suggest that you get involved and see what interests you. All we ask is that you get some basic training, attend meetings and participate in exercises before an emergency or disaster occurs. Join the ESS Team and help make a difference!
What Are Some of the Rewards in ESS?
- Opportunity to meet new people
- Learn or develop new skills
- Receive specialized 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)
- Complete volunteer hours
- Recognition through volunteer appreciation events, certificates, awards and/or letters
- Receive Workers’ Compensation and liability insurance coverage while on assignment
What Kind of Liability Protection is Provided to Volunteers?
Registered Provincial Emergency Program (PEP) 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