The Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) has partnered with the Canadian Red Cross to better support residents displaced by emergencies.
The Red Cross will be providing the RDEK with an emergency support service (ESS) after an agreement was initially signed in late 2021.
The two parties are working on the transition to allow the Red Cross to oversee the operation of the region’s ESS.
“When floods, fires or other emergencies cause people to evacuate, our local emergency support services volunteers are there to provide support and short-term assistance to anyone in the East Kootenay,” said RDEK Protective Services Manager, Fiona Dercole. “Our ESS teams are made up of local volunteers who have a desire to help when our communities need them most.”
Similar ESS programs are operated by the Red Cross for other local governments, offering experienced support to residents during disasters.
“Entering into this new agreement will not only provide a strong, supportive management structure for our local ESS teams, it will also provide those volunteers with additional training and the opportunity to help in other communities should they desire,” said Dercole.
Volunteers are welcome to join the ESS. RDEK officials said a targeted recruitment campaign will be launched where additional members are needed.
“Volunteers are an integral part of the Emergency Support Services that will be provided by the Canadian Red Cross in the communities represented in the Regional District of East Kootenay,” said Alexis Kraig, Senior Manager for Emergency Operations for the Red Cross in British Columbia and Yukon. “We look forward to welcoming ESS volunteers from across the East Kootenay to our diverse team of experienced emergency management responders across the province, and be ready to respond to the immediate needs of people impacted by an emergency or disaster.”
Those interested in volunteering can learn more about the ESS program through the link below.
Representatives from the Red Cross will also host an information session on Feb. 15th at 6 p.m. to learn more about volunteering.
More: ESS Volunteer Recruitment Campaign (RDEK)
More: Volunteering with Canadian Red Cross (Canadian Red Cross)