Pitt Meadows Emergency Support Services (ESS) provides short-term assistance (up to 72 hours) to residents who are forced to leave their home because of fire, flood, earthquake and other emergencies. Services can include short-term lodging, family reunification, food, clothing and emotional support. In a crisis, ESS volunteers look after the people, while first responders handle the emergency.

Available ESS Services

The goal of ESS is to help evacuees meet their basic needs and liaise with first responders on their behalf during an emergency event. Services are normally supplied at a Reception Centre, but this is dependent on the number of families affected. Services are scaled and can include any of the following:

  • Short-term lodging
  • Family reunification
  • Food and water
  • Clothing
  • Child minding
  • Transportation
  • Pet care
  • Emotional support
  • First Aid

How to access ESS Support

Residents generally do not access ESS directly; they are normally referred by Pitt Meadows Fire & Rescue Service. If a situation has occurred without us knowing, residents may also access ESS by calling the City Public Works after-hours emergency line: 604.465.2465.

In the event of an emergency affecting a large number of Pitt Meadows residents, Reception Centres will be set up in in one of the various sites allocated within the community to assist those affected with meeting basic needs and access to important information. Learn more about Reception Centres and Group Lodging below. 

Volunteer for ESS

The ESS program relies on a group of dedicated community volunteers to provide support to those affected by a house fire or as devastating as a flood. They ensure displaced residents are taken care of and can meet their basic needs and guide them through the steps of recovery 

The benefits of being a volunteer include free specialized training, Worker’s Compensation and liability insurance coverage, and camaraderie amongst this incredible group of fellow volunteers.

Learn more below and how to apply to become a volunteer.

Become an ESS Volunteer!

Who are ESS volunteers?

Emergency Support Services volunteers are an incredible group of local people who want to help others in an emergency. They are committed to the wellbeing of their neighbours and have a desire to give back to their communities.

What do ESS volunteers do?

Emergency Support Services volunteers are dispatched by first responders when there is an emergency in Pitt Meadows that includes evacuees. They assist in providing short-term lodging, family reunification, food, clothing, pet care and emotional support to people affected by an emergency or displacement like a house fire, flood, or earthquake.

ESS Volunteers complete training to be able to act as liaisons between evacuees and first responders in small-scale emergencies as well as set up and operate reception centres and group lodging in large emergencies.

What are the requirements and eligibility?

Volunteers attend regular training and meetings. A commitment of approximately 4-6 hours per month is required. All volunteer training is free of charge and provided by the City and Emergency Management BC through the Justice Institute of BC.

Eligibility requirements include:

  • Good health;
  • At least 16 years of age;
  • Valid BC Driver’s License; and
  • A criminal record check.

What are the benefits to becoming a volunteer?

Along with enjoying the camaraderie amongst the incredible group of fellow volunteers, ESS volunteers also receive free specialized training from the City and the Justice Institute of BC. They are also eligible for Worker’s Compensation and liability insurance coverage.

Volunteers gain valuable transferrable skills including personal preparedness, leadership, empathy, and organization.

Once volunteers have received some training and experience they will be eligible to sign up for deployment to assist other communities in need of help.  You get an opportunity to meet ESS volunteers just like yourself from all over BC, building friendships that last a lifetime.

More information about ESS

Reception Centres

Reception Centres are safe places set up during emergencies where people can go to receive information about the emergency, assistance meeting their basic needs, and help planning their recovery from the disaster. Reception Centres are often located in community centres, recreation centres, churches, or schools.

Group Lodging

Group lodging is a safe place for those affected by large-scale emergencies where people can go to sleep and eat, receive specialized care and health services such as first aid and emotional support. Group lodging is often located in community centres, recreation centres, churches or schools. Group lodging is opened depending on the size of emergency, the availability of commercial lodgings, and the number of responders.


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