Emergency Social Services (ESS)

Emergency social services (ESS) are those services required to preserve the well-being of people affected by an emergency or disaster.

The ESS program is a Provincial Emergency Response Program, but involves various levels of government. The program gives short-term help to British Columbians who have to leave their homes because of disasters like fires, floods or avalanches.

What is the Role of ESS in a Disaster?

The ESS Program plays an important role in emergency management in B.C. by:

  • Helping people to remain independent and self-sufficient;
  • Helping people to meet their basic survival needs during a disaster;
  • Reuniting family members separated by a disaster;
  • Providing people with accurate and up-to-date information about the situation at hand; and
  • Helping people re-establish themselves as quickly as possible after a disaster Helping a community work through the recovery process .

The City of Fernie's ESS Director works together with local residents, agencies and businesses to increase Fernie's level of emergency preparedness, as well as provide essential needs of people affected by a disaster. Volunteers are the heart of the City's Emergency Programs success. By volunteering, you have the opportunity to give back to the community during an emergency by assisting victims of fires, floods and other major emergencies.

What Services are Provided by ESS?

ESS provides temporary relief (72 hours) to individuals and families so they can begin to plan their next steps after an emergency.

ESS provides temporary PRIMARY SERVICES such as:

  • food;
  • shelter;
  • clothing; and
  • family reunification.

ESS may also provide specialized services such as:

  • personal services;
  • volunteer services;
  • public information;
  • first aid;
  • child minding;
  • pet care; and
  • transportation services.

When is ESS Provided?

Although ESS is designed to provide services to individuals affected by large disasters or emergencies, ESS is also provided during smaller scale emergencies, such as home or apartment fires.

Who Provides ESS?

Volunteers are the backbone of ESS.  Volunteers are relied upon in all aspects of an ESS response.

Emergency Management BC (EMBC) is the lead coordinating agency in the provincial government for all emergency management activities. EMBC works with local governments, First Nations, federal departments, industry, non-government organizations and volunteers to support the emergency management phases of mitigation/ prevention, preparedness, response and recovery.

Fernie Emergency Social Services Contact

Paul Wortley, ESS Director
Phone: 250.423.9512
Email:  essfernie@gmail.com