The Heart of Disaster Response

People forced to evacuate their homes in BC may receive short-term assistance from Emergency Support Services (ESS).

ESS Services Include:

  • Registration and Family Reunification
  • Referrals for basic necessities such as food, clothing and lodging
  • Accurate and up-to-date information
  • Emotional Support and Psychological First Aid
  • Emergency Pet Care

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What We Do

We strive to build stronger links between our communities by taking a collaborative and coordinated approach to emergency prevention, planning and response.
Our program helps ESS Teams, communities and individuals to:

  • Develop ESS plans and acquire supplies
  • Recruit volunteers and access our Volunteer Management System
  • Facilitate training and access resources 
  • Deliver ESS services to people impacted in the event of an evacuation

We encourage partnerships to develop more effective communications protocols, defined roles and responsibilities and joint training opportunities to help everyone involved to function cohesively.
We work with the following member municipalities:

  • City of Terrace,
  • District of Kitimat
  • District of New Hazelton
  • District of Stewart

As well as these local and provincial organizations: 

  • Emergency Management BC (EMBC)
  • Salvation Army
  • Canadian Red Cross
  • BC Housing
  • Volunteer Terrace
  • Disaster Psychosocial
  • First Nations Health Authority
  • Northern Health Authority
ESS Teams
  • Skeena Valley ESS (City of Terrace, Thornhill and surrounding areas)
  • The Hazeltons ESS (District of New Hazelton, Village of Hazelton and surrounding areas)
  • District of Kitimat ESS (District of Kitimat and surrounding areas)
  • Stikine Region ESS (Dease Lake, Telgraph and Iskut)
  • Stewart ESS
Reception Centres

ESS may need to open a Reception Centre during large scale emergencies or mass evacuations.  A Reception Centre is a safe place where people can go to register and receive:

  • Information about the emergency
  • Help meeting their basic needs
  • Help with planning their recovery

Designated Reception Centre facilities in the RDKS include:





RDKS First Floor Boardroom

Terrace Sportsplex

Coast Mountain College – Terrace Campus

4545 Lazelle Ave. 

3320 Kalum St

5331 McConnell Ave


Thornhill Community Centre

3091 Century St.


The Meeting Place

South Town Fire Hall

3026 Bowser St.



St. Anthony’s School

654 Columbia Ave West

1750 Nalabila Blvd.

Dease Lake

Dease Lake Community Hall

People’s Haven

Living Waters Church


Iskut Band Office

Box 30, Iskut


Stewart Health Centre

King Edward Hotel

904 Brightwell St.

405 5th Ave.

Group Lodging

In extreme cases, people forced from their homes in an emergency may be directed to group lodging facilities when commercial lodging is either not appropriate or unavailable. Group lodging is a safe place where people can go to:

  • Sleep and eat;
  • Receive specialized care, including multicultural services and transportation; and
  • Obtain health services such as first aid and emotional support.
Volunteer Benefits, Training & Criteria

People Helping People

ESS RDKS relies on volunteers who respond to the 'people' needs in any emergency in our communities.  Through planning, training, mentorship and practice, our ESS volunteers are ready to help others in our own communities and sometimes help others in communities throughout the province. 

Get Involved.  Learn valuable skills, and collaborate with a dynamic regional team.  We provide a comprehensive and multi-disciplinary training program that includes:

  • Online and community-based JIBC courses
  • Specialized workshops
  • Regular team meetings
  • The annual Northern Emergency Support Services Training (NESST) conference

Volunteers are asked to make a commitment of approximately 4-8 hours per month for training and monthly meetings.  ESS Responders should meet the following base criteria:

  • Be personally prepared for an emergency or disaster
  • Be concerned for people affected by disaster and want to help
  • Have good communication and organizational skills
  • Be able to respond to call-outs on short notice
  • Be flexible and team-oriented
  • Be in good health
  • Be willing to train and learn
  • Have a positive attitude
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Connect With ESS RDKS Facebook
  • Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine c/o Thornhill Fire Hall
    3128 Hwy 16 East, Terrace, BC V8G 4N8
  • 250-638-1358
  • Hazeltons – Ruth Carle, ESS Coordinator
  • Kitimat – Renee Masch
  • Stikine Region – vacant
  • Stewart – Tammy McKeown, Emergency Program Coordinator
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