June 21, 2013 - 11:02 AM
They’re on the frontlines when large scale emergencies force hundreds of people from their homes. But more often than not, they’re also the volunteers that are there to help anyone displaced by fires or other such emergencies.
Local officials gathered last night in Kelowna to celebrate 15 people* who have provided a combined 185 years of service through the Central Okanagan Emergency Support Services (ESS) organization.
Central Okanagan Emergency Program Coordinator Jason Brolund says, “The dedication shown to our community by these outstanding people is nothing short of awe inspiring. Anyone who’s received help from our ESS volunteers, whether they’ve been burned out of their home in a house fire or registering at a reception centre for short-term assistance during an area evacuation, knows of the tireless contribution they make to our community.”
Emergency Support Services Director Catherine Williams says, “These people have been there to help those in need during emergencies for many, many years. They train monthly and prepare for emergencies so that when they’re called, often in the middle of the night, they are ready to respond and help their neighbours who are in need. Our Central Okanagan ESS team has a strong, dedicated base, but we are always looking for more enthusiastic and energetic individuals to join us.”
The ESS program volunteers provide on-call response and temporary accommodation, food and other assistance for anyone who is displaced by an emergency. Volunteers meet monthly and training courses and opportunities are available.
Anyone who would like to learn more about the Central Okanagan Emergency Support Services organization is welcome to visit the program webpage www.regionaldistrict.com/ess or contact Coordinator Catherine Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013