City of Vernon ESS Program


Vernon Emergency Support Services (ESS) volunteers are engaged to work and train throughout the year, often on specific preparedness projects in between large scale events.  

During large scale emergency events there may also be a call for convergent volunteers to assist with the emergency in progress.

In general all volunteers are 19 years of age or older with:

  • A concern for those affected by disaster
  • Willingness to participate in training
  • Good communication skills
  • Ability to respond on short notice
  • Desire to work as a team

Please read "About Us" to gain a greater understanding about ESS.  We look forward to your application.  

Please note that these are in-person volunteer opportunities and only applicants that are able to work in the Vernon area will be considered.

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ESS Responders (specializing in ERA)

ESS Responders (specializing in ERA) work in Reception Centre responses. This position requires specialized training (provided free on-line from the Justice Institute of BC) and conducts interviews, assessments, registration and referrals.

When activated the ESS Responders (specializing in ERA) reports to the ERA Supervisors in the Reception Centre and ensure that ESS Referrals are provided in accordance with the Province of BC's ESS Program Guide. 

ESS Responder (specializing in ERA) - Volunteer Posting

Level One Responders

OnCall ESS Responders are called upon to accompany the OnCall ESS Response Coordinator (OCESSRC) to work level one ESS responses. This position works in tandem with the OCESSRC at an event determined location to assist with the ESS response interviews, assessments, registration and referrals.

Level one ESS responses are most often associated with house fires and these can happen at any time without warning. In Vernon, there are approximately 9 level one events per year. 

OnCall ESS Responder shifts are for two weeks at a time.  Two OnCall ESS Responders shifts are posted for each two-week block of the year, and sign up is done through the ESS portal (Better Impact).

OnCall ESS Responders - Volunteer Description



ESS Information Officer

ESS Information Officers are called upon when a Reception Centre is activated to manage communications. They serve as the coordination point for information gathering and internal delivery. This position may also be asked to provide information to the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) Information Officer managing all external communications.

When activated the ESS Information Officer reports directly to the Reception Centre Manager (RCM) and ensures that the RCM is kept apprised of information coming and going to the Reception Centre. 

ESS Information Officer - Volunteer Posting

About Us

Emergency Support Services is a Provincial Program managed by City of Vernon and delivered by a group of very dedicated and civic minded volunteers who generously give of their time to train and work with people evacuated from their homes due to fire, flood, landslide, and other emergencies.


Around the Province hundreds of similar teams are in place to deliver short-term services to evacuees, and may include food, lodging, clothing, emotional support, information about the disaster, and family reunification. 


What is it that Emergency Support Service (ESS) Volunteers Do?

During Response

  • Mobilize with other ESS responders to provide services to evacuees.
  • In the Reception Centre, work in functional roles for which the ESS responder is qualified to perform, such as:
    • Meet and Greet, representing the team as the first person evacuees upon arrival;
    • Registration and Referral (using ERA), interviewing evacuees to identify ESS service requirements and providing them with ESS referrals;
    • Logistics, connecting with suppliers and other service providers to determine availability at the time of the disaster;
    • Volunteer Management, providing services to volunteer workforce, including recruiting/onboarding convergent volunteers;
    • Documentation, tracking /reporting financial and statistical information on ESS response;
    • Supervisors, overseeing functional units in the provision of work; and,
    • Reception Centre and Group Lodging Managers, managing the overall operation of the ESS work site.


  • Community recovery workers, connect people with community resources available after the disaster and help evacuees transition to next steps.


  • Resource Acquisition workers, engage local suppliers of food, accommodation, and clothing to participate in this program and accept ESS referral forms, which when submitted with invoice to the Province, will be reimbursed for the ESS services rendered.
  • Project specific, volunteers may sign up for 
    • planning with other local and provincial support organizations, emergency responders and, non-government disaster agencies;
    • communications 
    • system/resource reviews or development
    • prearranging for facilities that can be converted to deliver ESS services. 
    • Providing emergency preparedness education to the public and community organizations.
    • Promoting ESS volunteer services and opportunities.