The City of Surrey is in urgent need of emergency volunteers.
A city press release issued Aug. 8 says on-call Emergency Support Services (ESS) and Community Engagement volunteers for Fire Services are in demand.
Emergency Support Services volunteers provide short-term help – up to 72 hours – to residents forced to leave home because of emergencies like fires, floods, earthquakes for example. They volunteer through a reception centre, providing short-term lodging, helping to reunite families, and providing food, clothing and emotional support.
“When a crisis hits our community, whether it’s large or small, we need many hands to help those in need. Having ESS volunteers ready to go is essential to helping our residents get back on their feet when disaster strikes,” Assistant Fire Chief Shelley Morris is quoted in the press release. “During the pandemic, our volunteer pool became depleted due to restrictions, so with fire season upon us, our goal is to get 100 volunteers in the next few months that we can draw on.”
Training is required but this can be done over time, Morris said. “The important thing now is to recruit people who are committed to this important work. This year has been relatively quiet, but you never know when the next emergency will happen.”
Meantime, Community Engagement volunteers focus mostly on educating people about fire safety and emergency preparedness messages and do this at community events or by speaking to residents about the Homesafe Smoke Alarm program.
Those interested in applying can view www.surrey.ca/volunteer for information.