Emergency Support Services volunteers Debby Shaw and Elysia Fox were some of the volunteers here who helped wildfire evacuees who came to Terrace in July.

Emergency support volunteers receive help

A bit of assistance will enable them to continue their work when needed

Emergency Support Services (ESS) volunteers have been put to the test this year assisting people displaced by the wildfires and will receive assistance in return for their valuable work.

Volunteers have been working around the clock to help thousands of evacuees and since July 7, Terrace and area ESS volunteers have contributed more than 1,000 hours of time helping with lodgings in Prince George and Kamloops, said Naomi Gourlay, ESS director for the Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine, to council Aug. 28.

Evacuees have come to New Hazelton, Terrace and Kitimat, and volunteers have opened multiple mini reception centres in the last few months, met with more than 100 evacuees and provided more than $15,000 worth of services in groceries, billetting and lodging, said Gourlay.

“The experience we are having is unprecedented. It comes with challenges, uncertainies, hardships and stress but we’ve been able to help in positive and constructive ways, and having engaged and trained ESS volunteers is key,” said Gourlay.

To ensure volunteers are up to date on their training, they go to annual Northern Emergency Support Services Training (NESST) Conferences, the next of which is to be held here in Terrace in April 2018.

It will welcome volunteers from across the north to network, learn, train and exercise together, said Gourlay.

“Over the course of the wildfires, I’ve heard time and time again how comforted volunteers were to see and work with volunteers they met and worked with at NESST. If our community faced a disaster here, these people would be here,” she said.

In past years, there has been surplus money from conferences that moves forward to the next training weekend but this year, ESS pockets are emptier than usual due to the economy and the difficulty in getting sponsorships, said Gourlay.

So ESS was asking council to waive the sportsplex rental cost, more than $3,100, for the weekend event, she added.

City councillors agreed ESS is invaluable.

“I support the request. I think it’s really important,” said Stacey Tyers.

Mayor Carol Leclerc, who appeared by phone for the meeting, said the city should waive the sportsplex fee.

“I think the service they provide is priceless and it’s a small token that we can do is waive $3,100 and I fully support it,” said Leclerc.

Acting mayor Michael Prevost agreed, saying considering how well trained the volunteers are and what services they offer to help people in their greatest time of need.

Council voted unanimously in favour of waiving the sportsplex rental fee.

Just Posted

Thornhill Boil Water Advisory rescinded

Residents are asked to flush their water pipes, clean coffee makers and other appliances

Contractors dig into construction of union office in Terrace

Traffic has been detoured on Kalum St. by Lazelle and Park Ave. for work on the BCGEU office

Baby bear captured on Kalum St.

Bear cub had been seen in area backyards for several days

Public asked to be on lookout for bear cub

Norhtern Lights Animal Shelter on its way here to capture baby bruin in Scott Avenue area.

Searchers rush to find missing hikers with one-year-old child

Family out overnight in cold near Watson Lake

Terrace River Kings overcome Williams Lake Stampeders 6-5

It was a back-and-forth game, played into second overtime before the team secured the win

10,000 signatures gained to stop ‘no pets’ rental policy

Pets OK BC said about 1,700 animals were surrendered to the BC SPCA last year due to housing issues

Silver Creek reacts after remains found, man arrested

Neighbours of property where remains were found say man arrested was sweet and polite

VIDEO: Oprah Winfrey and a celebrities attend ‘B.C. Miracle Concert’

Fundraiser featured Foster, Steven Tyler, The Tenors, Matteo Bocelli, Laura Bretan, Carly Rae Jepsen

Human remains found at Silver Creek property

RCMP have been searching the property in the 2200 block of Salmon River Road for the past three days

New B.C. acute care centre opens for young patients, expectant mothers

Facility aims to make B.C. Children’s Hospital visits more comfortable

Search ramps up for B.C. woman after dog, car found near Ashcroft

Jenny Lynn Larocque’s vehicle and dog were found in Venables Valley, but there is no sign of her

Police officer hit by car, stabbed in Edmonton attack back on job

Const. Mike Chernyk, 48, returned to work Thursday

UBC medical students learn to care for Indigenous people

Students in health-related studies to take course, workshop to help better serve Aboriginal people

Most Read