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Pitt Meadows receives $20,000 from province to expand ESS team

Emergency Support Services offers short-term support to victims of emergencies
The City of Pitt Meadows received $20,000 from the provincial government to expand its Emergency Support Services team. (Special to The News)

The government wants to help ensure that Pitt Meadows residents are properly prepared for a possible emergency with the help of a recent injection of nearly $20,000 in provincial funding toward the city’s Emergency Support Services (ESS) program.

This money is part of a province-wide rollout of ESS funding, which was paired with the announcement of a new one-day training option for communities, explained Bowinn Ma, minister of emergency management and climate readiness.

“Last summer, we heard from people who wanted to help evacuees but faced barriers in getting trained to do so,” said Ma.

“We’re acting on lessons learned by rolling out a new one-day training option to enable more people to respond in times of need, helping to ensure that evacuees are supported in an effective and timely manner.”

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Currently, becoming an ESS responder requires a week-long training session. But soon Pitt Meadows and many other B.C. communities will have the option to train people much faster.

The new one-day training model won’t be launched until May 4, at which point it will be offered through the Justice Institute of B.C.

In the meantime, Pitt Meadows will use the $19,579.87 it was given to help further its local ESS team development, explained Mayor Nicole MacDonald.

“As climate-related emergency events are happening more frequently, it is imperative that our dedicated volunteers receive the necessary practice, training, and equipment to effectively respond to crises,” said MacDonald.

The Pitt Meadows ESS team will use the funds for two courses through the Justice Institute of B.C., conducting a functional emergency training exercise, and purchasing new equipment.

Manager of Emergency Programs Jackie Kloosterboer said that this funding will assist the city’s program in its mission to provide short-term assistance for up to 72 hours for residents who have been evicted from their homes due to some type of emergency.

READ ALSO: $405M for climate emergency mitigation and management

Brandon Tucker

About the Author: Brandon Tucker

I have been a journalist since 2013, with much of my career spent covering sports and entertainment stories in Alberta.
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