Kamloops chosen to pilot program aimed at modernizing emergency social services | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kamloops chosen to pilot program aimed at modernizing emergency social services

Signs in the water near Riverside Park covered by the high water, May 31, 2017.

KAMLOOPS - The province has picked Kamloops for a pilot project to help modernize the emergency social services program. 

Emergency Management B.C. is working to digitize and modernize the current emergency services program, a City of Kamloops media release says.

Emergency Social Services provides short-term assistance to people who are forced from their homes due to fires, floods or other emergencies. Some of the services offered include food, lodging, clothes, emotional support and reuniting families.

With the supporting role Kamloops provided during the 2017 and 2018 freshet and wildfire seasons, the city is in a good spot to be selected as a pilot community for the project.

Some of the upcoming changes to the current program include the branding, legislation, policies, processes and training. Emergency Management will also be developing a digital system for delivering emergency social services.

"Modernization of the ESS program will ensure evacuated individuals have efficient access to services and will enhance reporting and financial accountabilities," the city says in the release. "This opportunity will allow the City of Kamloops to continue to play a key role in the ESS community and will position Kamloops as a leader of change."

Kamloops already has a trained emergency response team that will pilot the new process and system. The volunteer team will have the opportunity to give feedback to the province and will help create a viable emergency services program. 

“The Kamloops ESS team provided exemplary assistance to approximately 11,000 evacuees during the 2017 wildfire season. (Emergency Management B.C.) collected feedback from Kamloops, as well as other hosting communities, and has been working on enhancements since then. We are excited to see a modernization of the system. Working with the Province to streamline the process for evacuees is critical,” Kamloops emergency program coordinator Dan Sutherland says in the release.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Shelby Thevenot or call (250) 819-6089 or email the editor You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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