Emergency Support Services (ESS) Responder

Listed by Canadian Red Cross
Volunteer Engagement & Experience Team


Do you want to make a difference?

The Canadian Red Cross, a not-for-profit humanitarian organization dedicated to people and communities in Canada and around the world in times of need, is actively seeking volunteers to join one of our regional British Columbia Emergency Support Services (ESS) Teams. This unique opportunity allows you to provide emergency support to people who have been impacted by a small disaster or emergency within the first 72 hours.

As a member of the British Columbia Emergency Support Services Team, you will:

  • Respond to ESS alerts to support local and provincial responses.
  • Fully assess those impacted by the emergency to evaluate their needs immediately following an emergency; complete ESS documentation and ensure the appropriate referrals are complete.
  •  Support the well-being of people impacted by providing referrals to partner agencies and other community-based groups for services.

Through the course of your work as an ESS volunteer you will not only assist during times of disaster and emergency, you will also help people to be better prepared, better connected to each other and more resilient when emergencies happen.

You will enjoy:

  • Culture: an organization that is guided by our fundamental principles of humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity, and universality
  • Flexibility: a variety of roles that flex with your stage of life allowing you to volunteer close to home, for a few hours each week or a few weeks at a time
  • Volunteer Benefits:  insurance coverage while volunteering plus access to our Employee Assistance program for support during difficult times.
  • Meaningful Work:  providing humanitarian relief that will create an impact at the individual and community level within British Columbia.
  • Training & Development:  comprehensive training including first aid certification and the opportunity to participate in leadership development.

What you bring to the role:

  • Commitment – to the Fundamental Principles of the Red Cross Movement and the core competencies of team excellence, service excellence and accountability.
  • Customer service skills – dedicated to supporting those affected by emergencies.
  • Communication skills – utilize active listening, care, the ability to explain and confirm understanding when dealing with complex situations.
  • Attention to detail – necessary to accurately input sensitive information.
  • Computer skills – basic/intermediate skills will be necessary.
  • Flexibility – ability to respond to alerts during non-traditional hours may be required, for example during evenings or weekends.
  • Teamwork values – assist your team members, respect diversity, and be willing to build relationships.
  • Ability to remain calm during a crisis – express empathy, remain focused and, respond decisively and shift priorities as needed.
  • Dependable and reliable -Availability to respond to ESS response notifications is critical.
  • Emergency management and/or ESS experience.

Where and when you would volunteer:

  • Applicants must be 18 years of age or older.
  • This position will require a satisfactory Canadian criminal record reference check or Enhanced Police Information Check during the onboarding stage.
  • The response work is performed in the community. You must live in British Columbia and within driving distance of the community in which you are applying. Available communities are listed below
  • The potential exists for responding in a disaster area. If this is required following safety protocols, will be critical for the safety of the responder and the people impacted. If working in a disaster situation, health and safety considerations will be outlined before the assignment.
  • You will be able to respond to unplanned emergencies or disaster-related requests during regular hours or non-traditional hours (evenings and weekends).
  • Minimum one-year commitment to the role.

For complete program information and how to apply online, please follow the link:


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