A core group of dedicated volunteers are always ready to answer the call when anyone in the Central Okanagan needs help because they've been displaced by an emergency.

Members of the Central Okanagan Emergency Support Services organization, more often known by the acronym E-S-S, gathered last evening to recognize the service milestones of some of their volunteers.

This year, 21 ESS members provided a combined 125 years of service through the volunteer organization.

Central Okanagan Emergency Program Coordinator Travis Whiting says, "Our region is extremely blessed to have neighbours like these. They're perhaps best known for staffing reception centres during large-scale emergency evacuations. But what many people don't realize is day after day, night after night, ESS volunteers are there to answer the call for help when individuals or families are forced from their home by a fire or other emergency."

Emergency Support Services Director Catherine Williams says, "It's a pleasure to serve alongside these dedicated volunteers. They train monthly and prepare for any number of emergency situations so that when the call goes out, they are able to respond and help those in need. We in the Central Okanagan have a strong, dedicated ESS team, but we are always looking for additional enthusiastic and energetic individuals to join us."

The ESS program volunteers provide on-call response and temporary accommodation, food and other assistance for anyone who is displaced by an emergency. Volunteers meet monthly and training courses and opportunities are available.

Anyone who would like to learn more about the Central Okanagan Emergency Support Services organization is welcome to visit the program webpage www.regionaldistrict.com/ess or email eoc.ess@kelowna.ca.



Catherine Williams
Emergency Support Services Director -RDCO

Travis Whiting
Central Okanagan Emergency Program Coordinator

Bruce Smith
RDCO Communications Officer

Central Okanagan Emergency Support Services Service Award Recipients

5 Years of Service Pin (Actual)

Dennis Campbell
Lorne Chestnut
Joy Chestnut
Paula Diakiw (from Lake Country)
Kim Greenhough
Tim Neilsen
Gerry Pettetta
Joe Petretta
Elena Wiens (6)
Barb Liversidge (6)
Bev Kenzie (6)
Dave Harrison (6)
Garth Saunders (6)
Larry Carrier (6)
Trish Gunning (6)
Mary Anne Heise (6)
Doris Koyscha (9)

10 Years of Service Pin

Sue MacDonald
Natasha Mark
Linda Keil (12)
Gail Campbell