“There were a whole bunch of people who said, ‘well, how can I help?’ and walked in,” District of Taylor Fire Chief, Alan Stebbing explained. “So now, we wanted to make sure people are aware that ESS was out there, and they can learn ahead of emergencies how they can help, and get training so if, and when other disasters happen, we’ve got lots of trained people in the communities and in the region to take care of other people in the region.”

During the open house, attendees will have the opportunity to ask members of the Taylor ESS team what the training and services entail.

If you were to start training to be part of an ESS team, you would be trained in the how-tos of setting up a reception centre, taking care of registration and referrals, group lodging, as well as logistics and management to name a few.

Stebbing says the team usually meets up once a month to get an update on the emergency plan and a brush up on their skills.

The course, which usually starts in an online form, is funded by the provincial government and taught by accredited instructors, often from the town being taught, but sometime instructors from across the province come in, depending on the course, specific training needed, and skill set required.

While most positions require the volunteer to be over 18 years old, there is no age restriction for the Taylor ESS team, so if there are any teenagers out there who would like to get involved; Stebbing assures “the team would be happy to find a place for them.”

“We’re really looking forward to putting this on, and we hope people from all over the region come, and that we can continue to build ESS in the Peace region so that we’re all better prepared to take care of each other when disaster strikes,” Stebbing said.

In a worst case scenario, if a region is not prepared to implement an ESS team, the province would have to deploy a mobile support team from other parts of the province.

“That takes time, as we all know, living here in the Peace away from other major centres,” Stebbing said while explaining the importance of a well-established, local team.

The open house is being held at the Taylor Community Hall, located at 9896 Cherry Avenue West, running 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

If you have any questions, you can contact Stebbing, or the Emergency Services Specialist at the District of Taylor, Sadie Jones at 250 789 3392.