Colwood/View Royal Emergency Support Services is sounding the alert for more volunteers.
Duties may include helping people displaced by a house fire all the way up to assisting during a major catastrophe, said View Royal Fire Rescue Capt. Troy Mollin, emergency management officer for the Town of View Royal. “Our duty is to assist with accommodations, food and clothing where required. ESS volunteers would also work with larger agencies like the Red Cross during a larger scale event.”
Mollin, who oversees the Colwood/View Royal ESS and provides administrative support, receives assistance from Geoff Amy, Colwood’s ESS program co-ordinator. The organization is jointly funded and well supported through Emergency Management BC, which provides funding for provincial programs administered by local governments, Mollin noted.
The Colwood and View Royal ESS teams joined together as one in 2008. That made more resources and facilities available for evacuees and created more training opportunities for the roughly 30 volunteers to utilize their training and skills, Mollin explained.
The team meets monthly nine months of the year, and volunteers receive ongoing training throughout the year through the Justice Institute of British Columbia, with funding for the training provided by Emergency Management BC.
“There’s also a great need throughout the Capital Region for people involved in emergency radio communication, also known as amateur radio operators,” Mollin said. “We rely on these operators to provide an additional means of communications in the event of a disaster situation. The number of ham operators has been declining, so there’s a real need. If all the phone lines go down, they might be the only way to communicate.”
View Royal will provide free training and assist in getting licenses for those interested. For more information on volunteering, contact Mollin at firstname.lastname@example.org.