A look at the Keremeos Creek wildfire on Aug. 26, 2022. Penticton’s ESS team has supported 463 evacuees during the blaze. (BCWS)

A look at the Keremeos Creek wildfire on Aug. 26, 2022. Penticton’s ESS team has supported 463 evacuees during the blaze. (BCWS)

Volunteers needed for Penticton Emergency Support Services

Penticton’s ESS team has supported more than 660 evacuees in 2022 so far

Recent retirements from Penticton Emergency Support Services has forced the team to find more volunteers this fall.

Responsible for helping Penticton stay prepared for house fires, floods, earthquakes and wildfires, the ESS says there are spots currently open for community members interested in joining the team for a start date of Jan. 1, 2023.

Since 2020, Penticton’s ESS team has supported evacuees during the Christie Mountain wildfire, among other blazes, and in the response to historic flooding.

So far, in 2022, the team has supported more than 660 evacuees due to seven house fires, two hotel/motel blazes, the Keremeos Creek wildfire and rain events in May and July.

“We are so lucky to have such tremendous ESS team members in our community,” said Penticton mayor John Vassilaki. “I would like to personally thank each one of our volunteers for their willingness to ensure Penticton is ready to respond when an emergency arises, and encourage those comfortable working with computers and speaking with evacuees to consider joining the ESS team.”

The city’s ESS team is recruiting volunteers for four roles:

• Greeter at the reception centre

• Registration and referral of evacuees

• Documentation room

• Group lodging

Application forms will remain open until Sept. 26, with interviews and police checks set for October and November.

“Volunteers receive robust training from both the Justice Institute of BC online, and senior Penticton ESS team members,” the city said in an announcement.

People interested in applying are encouraged to attend a pair of drop-in sessions on Tuesday, Sept. 13, at 199 Ellis Street starting at 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., respectively.

More information can be found by emailing ess@penticton.ca or calling 250-490-2512.

READ MORE: New fire in Penticton brought under control


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Emergency PreparednessPenticton