ESS/Reception Centre Volunteer
General Emergency Support Service/Reception Centre VolunteerEmergency Support Services are services provided on a short-term basis to preserve the emotional and physical well being of those affected by an emergency or disaster. ESS plays an important role in emergency management by:
- Helping people meet their basic survival needs during a disaster
- Reuniting families separated by disaster
- Providing people affected by a disaster with accurate and up-to-date information
Volunteers are needed to staff various positions in different areas in a Reception Centre. Some of these areas include: meet & greet, food services, transportation, information, translation services, front line assistance, security, first aid, family reunification, child care, pet care, recreation, emotional support, logistics and administrative support.
Thankfully we do not often need to open Reception Centres, however, each volunteer is expected to attend training sessions, participate in exercises and be available on short notice to assist evacuees.
Complete training for specific tasks will be provided and facilitated through the City’s Emergency Program Office.
- Be an advocate for emergency preparedness
- Be personally prepared for an emergency
- Assist in set-up and take down of Emergency Reception Centre
- Perform duties as indicated through training or areas of interest
- Ensure needs of evacuees are met
- Complete and submit required paperwork
- Perform assigned duties, as required
Skills and Abilities
- Basic knowledge of ESS
- Clear and effective communication skills
- Ability to respond effectively in a crisis situation and cope under pressure
- Knowledge of the City’s Emergency Program and related topics
- Enjoy working as part of a team
- Introduction to ESS
- Introduction to Reception Centre
- Registration and Referrals
- Inquiry, Search and Reply
- Introduction to Group Lodging
- Managing Walk-in Volunteers
- Meet and Greet course (Salvation Army)
- Related training in customer service
- Other ESS related training courses
- Must be able to commit during non-disaster times
- Attend monthly meetings and exercises (approximately 2-4 hours per month)
- Participation in training courses provided through the Emergency Program Office
- Must be available to respond on short notice
Tips for Volunteers
Check in with yourself several times during your shift as well - "How am I doing?" Taking regular breaks, stretching and eating healthy are just a few ways to ensure your own mental and physical health while on shift.
When in doubt, ask for help.