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Emergency Social Services. LEVEL ONE RESPONSE Workshop. Workshop Purpose. The purpose of this workshop is to provide ESS volunteers with the knowledge and skills necessary for a Level One ESS Response. Workshop Objectives.

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emergency social services

Emergency Social Services


workshop purpose
Workshop Purpose

The purpose of this workshop is to provide ESS volunteers with the knowledge and skills necessary for a Level One ESS Response.

workshop objectives
Workshop Objectives

After completing this workshop, volunteers will know what a Level One response is including:

  • the difference between a Level One response and other levels of ESS response;
  • the tools required in a Response Kit;
  • the steps involved in a response;
  • how to complete the required forms; and
  • the importance of worker care;
emergency social services program
Emergency Social Services Program
  • Emergency Social Services (ESS) is an emergency response program made up of dedicated individuals who share a common goal of assisting people in an emergency or disaster.
  • ESS volunteers provide short-term services, usually 72 hours, to residents affected by an emergency that causes them to be evacuated from their homes because their homes are damaged or destroyed.
    • In British Columbia Emergency Social Services volunteers are supported by a local authority such as a Municipality, Regional District, or First Nation, and the Province.
emergency social services program1
Emergency Social Services Program
  • Services provided include but are not limited to referrals for:
  • food;
  • necessities;
  • Accommodations; and
  • family reunification.


Group Lodging

Group Lodging

emergency social services program2
Emergency Social Services Program

These services include but are not limited to referrals for:

  • additional services may include:
  • Emotional Support
  • Volunteer Services
  • Communications
  • First Aid
  • Health Services
  • Information
  • Child Care
  • Transportation Services
  • Recreation Services
  • Multicultural Services
  • Pet Services






who is responsible for ess response
Who is Responsible for ESS Response?

Emergency Management BC

Local Authority

Emergency Program Coordinator

Emergency Social Services Director

Emergency Social Services Team

what is a level one ess response
What is a Level One ESS Response?

ESS is typically activated at Level 1 for an event involving:

  • a house or small apartment fire;
  • a flood that involves only one or two homes;
  • less than twelve people; and
  • service that is typically provided at the site.
what is a level one response
What is a Level One Response?

The recommended staffing and support requirements for a Level 1 Response include:

  • a minimum of one Level 1 ESS volunteer;
  • an ESSD available for support and consultation;
  • EMBC is available for inquiries and to provide an EMBC Task #.

Typical Level 1 Responder Responsibilities

Level One Responder

Information Officer

Liaison Officer

Safety Officer






Primary Services



Recovery Transition

Resource Acquisition


Meet and Greet




Specialized Services


Health Services

Emotional Support

rights of ess volunteer
Rights of ESS Volunteer
  • Orientation and Training
    • Forum for Input
    • Support
    • Safe Conditions
    • Supplies and Equipment
level 1 ess responder position description
Level 1 ESS ResponderPosition Description
  • 24 hour on call response to small-scale evacuations;
  • assessment of the evacuees eligibility for services;
  • assessment of evacuees needs;
  • registration of evacuees;
  • provide referrals for any eligible expenses;
  • provide additional assistance to community resources if required;
  • complete and submit required paperwork within five days of the response; and
  • adhere to the ESS Standards of Conduct:
  • commitment;
  • confidentiality;
  • quality of service;
  • conduct;
  • self care; and
  • media statements.
level 1 ess responder skills
Level 1 ESS Responder Skills
  • An ESS Level 1 Responder should posses the following qualities:
    • ability to respond effectively in a crisis situation;
    • patience to listen to people in extreme distress;
    • ability to display empathy, sympathy , and encouragement to people in crisis;
    • ability to work cooperatively with other emergency responders;
    • strong organizational skills; and
    • thoroughness and promptness in completing paperwork.
level 1 ess responder required training
Level 1 ESS ResponderRequired Training
  • An ESS Level 1 Responder should be trained in the following:
    • completion of the Introduction to ESS course – online at the JIBC;
    • trained in completion of:
      • Registration Form;
      • Referral Forms for accommodation, food, clothing and incidentals;
      • Supplier Consent Forms;
      • Evacuee Interview process; and
      • Supplier Interview process;
    • on the job training and experience.

How do you get prepared to provide Level 1 ESS Response?

Build a Level One Response Kit

  • A Level 1 Response Kit will include the following:
    • Action Checklist
    • Task Registration Forms
    • Task Report Forms
    • E.S.S. File Registration and Services Records
    • Referral Forms
    • Rate Sheets
    • ESS Change of Information Forms
    • Supplier Consent Forms
    • ESS Field Guide

How do you get prepared to provide Level 1 ESS Response?

Build a Level One Response Kit

  • ID Card and Lapel Pin
  • Blanket
  • Teddy Bear
  • Vest
  • LED Penlight or Flashlight
  • Black Pens
  • Calendar
  • Calculator
  • Notebook
  • Clipboard
  • Maps
  • Resource Binder
  • Brochures
    • When Disaster Strikes
    • People Affected by Disaster
    • One Step at a Time, a Guide To Disaster Recovery

My ESS Resources


How do you get prepared to provide Level 1 ESS Response?

  • Create a list of Suppliers
  • This may be already done by your ESSD or you may be requested to approach suppliers for your area, if so you will require:
    • a letter of introduction from your Local Authority;
    • Supplier Consent Forms;
    • current EMBC Rate Sheet; and
    • a list of potential suppliers in your area , with addresses and telephone numbers.

Approaching a Supplier

  • Types of suppliers:
  • hotels;
  • restaurants;
  • grocery stores;
  • full apparel clothing stores; and
  • pharmacies.

Approaching a Supplier

  • Setting up a meeting with the suppliers:
  • You can either mail or personally deliver the Supplier Information Package, which includes the:
    • Letter of Introduction from your Local Government;
    • Supplier Consent Form; and
    • EMBC Rate Sheet.
  • Once the supplier has the information package you can ask for an appointment to:
    • review the process; and
    • assist them in completing the forms.

Local Authority

Supplier Business Name

The type of products and/or services the business can provide

Supplier Mailing & Location Address

Business Phone# Business Fax#

Explain this contact information is for them to confirm the information or for questions after payment has been received.

This contact information is for questions before, during and after an event, the contacts should be the Local Authority’s EPC and ESSD.

These contacts numbers are the supplier and their alternates after hours contact information.

Supplier Signature Suppliers Name Date Signed


Then you do it all over again next year!

  • It is important to check in with your suppliers annually.
  • By doing that you will have an opportunity to get you back in touch with the supplier to:
    • confirm they still want to participate;
    • confirm their contact information;
    • address any questions or concerns;
    • provide them with updates and/or changes to the program; and
    • a chance to build your relationship with them.

ESS Resource Binder

  • A resource binder is a compilation of contact information and available resources to use during a response:
    • EPC;
    • EMBC;
    • ESSD; and
    • other ESS team members.
    • Contact names;
    • Business and after hours phone numbers;
    • type of product or service they provide; and
    • location of business.
    • the Supplier Consent Forms can be sorted by type of service or alphabetically.

ESS Resource Binder

    • What are some of the other agencies that may be able to assist evacuee’s in recovery?


Now you have your bag packed you’re ready to respond.

First things first:

Suggested order of events



is not activated




Incident or Threat

Displaced Persons



Under 12 Evacuees

The Incident Commander contacts the ESSD and provides details of the event and description of the possible support required.

The ESSD contacts EMBC at 1-800-663-3456 and obtains a Task Number.

The ESSD contacts one or two ESS volunteers residing in close proximity to the incident site, providing details on the event, the type of response necessary, and a call back number for support.

The ESS Volunteers completes preparation steps and attends to evacuee, completing response including all required evacuee paperwork.

The ESS Volunteers contacts the ESSD to advise of the services provided and to report the status of the response, either ongoing or concluded.

The ESS Volunteer completes appropriate Response Summary to be provided to the ESSD or the Emergency Program Coordinator.

The ESSD or the Emergency Program Coordinator provides EMBC with copies of forms within five days and final expense claim at end of event.



Now you have your bag packed you’re ready to respond.

First things first:

  • Review the Action Checklist for ESS Level 1 Response. The Checklist will:
    • confirm all the pre-response information has been obtained;
    • confirm you have completed the Task Registration form;
    • confirm you have the necessary supplies to respond with;
    • remind you what to do when you get to the site;
    • help you determine what support and/or services to provide.


Now you have your bag packed you’re ready to respond.

First things first:

  • Prepare yourself for possible reactions;
    • People directly affected by an event that causes them to become evacuated from their homes are typically traumatized or in a state of shock.

What is Trauma

  • Trauma is the outcome of an event which has occurred outside of the normal human experience.
  • There are four ways people are traumatized:
    • physical;
    • financial;
    • emotional; and/or
    • secondary victimization.
    • The three stages of trauma are:
    • shock;
    • impact; and
    • resolution.

What is Shock

  • Stages of Shock:
    • denial;
    • remorse;
    • anger;
    • gradual acceptance.


Now you have your bag packed you’re ready to respond.

  • Fill in the Task Registration Form;
  • There are two factors that determine how people will deal with the aftermath of a significant event:
    • the nature of the disaster and what it means to the evacuee; and
    • the type of support the evacuee receives.


You have prepared yourself and you’re ready to meet with the evacuee!

How do others perceive you?

  • 38% depends on the tone of your voice;
    • 7% is what you say; and
    • 55 % depends on your body language.


You have prepared yourself and you’re ready to meet with the evacuee!

Tips for building good rapport:

  • clearly identify yourself;
  • when addressing the evacuee use their name;
      • avoid using ‘WHY’questions;
      • be a good listener;
      • be aware of the words you use:
      • build trust with the evacuee:



You have been contacted by your ESSD and told to report to 123 Main Street, Smithers to assist a family that has lost their home in a fire, the EMBC Task # is 130173.

Now lets meet the residents.



The next step is filling out the forms.

  • Complete the E.S.S. File Registration and Services Record.
  • Assess their eligibility;
  • Complete the Referrals forms.
  • Contact your supplier(s) to advise them that their services will be required over the next 72 hours.


Plan for Recovery

Once immediate needs are met, work with evacuees to develop plans for a return to normal living at the end of the 72 hours of Emergency Social Services.

  • Provide clear information on expectations of affected persons to develop a personal or family plan for the end of the 72 hours.
  • Refer individuals to alternate sources of assistance such as the Ministry of Housing and Social Development or community organizations.
  • Provide the exact date and time of the termination of Emergency Social Services.


End of ESS and Demobilization

  • ESS ends automatically after 72 hours, or earlier if only limited services are needed. – any extensions are done on a case by case basis and only after consultation with EMBC.
  • Document any operational or policy issues identified during the response on the Action Checklist and ensure that this information is provided to the Emergency Program Coordinator after the 72 hours.


Then complete filling out the final forms.

  • Complete the Volunteer Expense Reimbursement Form.
  • Complete the Change of Information Card.
  • Complete the Task Report Form.
post response

Now lets sort the forms out and distribute them:

  • All Forms prepared by ESS Volunteer
    • Action Checklist
    • Task Registration Form;
    • E.S.S. File Registration and Service Record;
    • Referral Form(s);
    • Rate Sheet;
    • Change of Information Form;
    • Volunteer Expense Reimbursement Form; and
    • Task Report Form.
post response1

Separate your forms and package them for:

  • The Evacuee
    • E.S.S. Registration and Services Record – yellow copy;
    • Referral (s) – white and yellow copies;
    • ESS Rate Sheet;
  • The Local Government
    • Task Registration Form;
    • Task Report Form;
    • E.S.S. File Registration and Service Record - white, pink and card copy;
    • Referral Form(s) – pink and green copy;
    • Change of Information Form – white, yellow and pink copy; and
    • Volunteer Expense Reimbursement Form.

Local Authority Receives from Volunteer

  • Task Registration;
  • Task Report;
  • E.S.S. File Registration and Services Record – card, pink and white copy;
  • Referral(s) – pink and green copy;
  • Change of Information – yellow and pink copy;
  • Volunteer Expense Reimbursement.
  • ESS Volunteer
  • Forms Completed
  • Task Registration;
  • Task Report;
  • E.S.S. File Registration and Services Record;
  • Referral(s);
  • Rate Sheet(s);
  • Change of Information;
  • Volunteer Expense Reimbursement.
  • Evacuee(s)
  • Receives from ESS Volunteer
  • E.S.S. File Registration and Services Record – yellow copy;
  • Referral Forms - white and yellow copy;
  • Rate sheet pink copy;

ESS Forms Distribution

  • Supplier
  • Receives from Evacuee
  • Referral Form – white copy .
  • EMBC Regional Office
  • Receives from
  • Local Authority
  • E.S.S. Registration and Services Record – pink copy;
  • Referral(s) - pink copies;
  • Change of Information – yellow copy; and
  • Final expense claim from Local Authority.
  • EMBC Headquarters
  • Receives from Supplier
  • Referral (s) - white copy; and
  • Invoice and/or till receipts.
  • EMBC Provides Payment To
  • Suppliers; and
  • Local Authorities.
  • ESS Volunteer
  • Receives from Local Authority
  • reimbursement for expenses; and
  • Appreciation for services.
worker care


Worker Care

  • fatigue;
  • loss of appetite;
  • difficulty falling asleep or changes in sleeping patterns;
  • restlessness;
  • headaches;
  • increased blood pressure;
  • changes in eating habits;
  • increased susceptibility to colds, flu, or infection;
  • changes in libido;
  • changes in smoking habits;
  • changes in alcohol and drug consumption.

Be on the Alert for Signs of Stress

Common Physical/Behavioural Reactions to watch for:

worker care1


Worker Care

  • Feelings of:
  • helplessness;
  • overwhelm;
  • inadequacy;
  • being fragile;
  • being vulnerable;
  • being unable to cope or go on;
  • isolation;

Be on the Alert for Signs of Stress

Common Emotional Reactions to watch for:

  • increased mood swings
  • decreased motivation;
  • feeling burned out;
  • crying more frequently and easily;
  • changes in communication patterns and other relationship dynamics;
  • withdrawal.
worker care2


Worker Care

  • confusion;
  • difficulty making decisions
  • difficulty problem solving;
  • memory blanks;
  • having ambiguous feelings;
  • questioning why this happened in a world that is supposed to be safe;
  • difficulty concentrating or paying attention.

Be on the Alert for Signs of Stress

Common Cognitive Reactions to watch for:

worker care3


Worker Care

Here are some stress-relieving activities:

Go for a 15-minute walk during a lunch or coffee break.

Take other opportunities to be physically active.

Eat sensibly, avoid excessive use of caffeine and alcohol.

Drink plenty of water and juices.

Know and respect your limits, if you feel exhausted and need time off, take it.

Remember to keep take your regularly scheduled time off.

Spend time with family and friends, talk to them, listen to their stories.

Listen to people if they express concern with your health and well-being.

worker care4


Worker Care

Here are some stress-relieving activities:

As much as possible, continue to participate in previous social and recreational activities.

Get some rest, if you have trouble sleeping, get up and do something relaxing or enjoyable.

Be on the lookout for any changes in your habits, attitudes and moods.

Share your own and clients\' reactions and issues with colleagues, ask others for advice.

Include yourself on the list of people you are taking care of.

worker care5


Worker Care

Here are some stress-relieving activities:

Take some time to do something just for yourself every day.

Be self-nurturing and don\'t forget to laugh.


Taking care of yourself will put you in better shape to give care to others.

worker care6


Worker Care

  • Reassure family members who may be worried about their safety and about the future.
  • Take time to talk about the events.
  • Relax together, go to a movie or go out for a meal.
  • Everybody needs to be heard and understood.
  • Visit with relatives and friends.
  • Remember, taking time out is not a cop-out.

Taking care of our families

worker care7


Worker Care

  • can\'t return to a normal routine;
  • are feeling extremely helpless;
  • are having thoughts of hurting yourself or others; and/or
  • are using alcohol and drugs excessively.

You may want to seek help if you:

worker care8


Worker Care

  • your Family Doctor;
  • distress or crisis centers;
  • the hospital in your community;
  • any family service agencies;
  • a bereavement group;
  • the leader of your faith community; and
  • remember to include family and friends you can call to talk things over.

Resources which may be available in your community to call for help are: