By Andrea Horton
Maureen Josay has been appointed as Emergency Social Services Director (ESSD) and Sylvia Jones has been appointed as Deputy Emergency Social Services Director (DESSD) as the District of Sparwood continues to build its ability to respond effectively to emergency situations.
Emergency Social Services (ESS) is a municipal emergency response program. It provides for various short-term needs of evacuees and response workers in a disaster or emergency situation.
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 during a disaster; providing people with accurate and up-to-date information about the situation; helping people re-establish themselves as quickly as possible after a disaster; and helping a community work through the recovery process.
ESS provides temporary relief to individuals and families so they can begin to plan their next steps after an emergency. The District of Sparwood’s Emergency Management Program works together with local residents, agencies and businesses to increase Sparwood’s level of emergency preparedness. Volunteers are at the heart of its success.
ESS will provide temporary primary services such as: food; shelter; clothing and family reunification.
ESS is designed to provide services to individuals affected by large disasters but it also provides during smaller scale emergencies such as home or apartment fires.
The District of Sparwood supports Sparwood’s ESS volunteers by providing leadership training and administrative support for ESS teams.
To provide the level of service required, the appointment of an ESSD and a DESSD was required by Council. The new ESSD and DESSD will report to the Emergency Program Coordinator appointed by the Mayor and Council and will assist the Coordinator to maintain the Emergency Program in a state of operational readiness by initiating public awareness campaigns; preparing and reviewing emergency response and recovery plans; and equipping and staffing the Emergency Operations Centre.