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ESS Modernization – June Update

Pilot Project continues – want more information? Invite EMBC to come and present to your region on the technology updates for ESS Registrations and Referrals. Logo still to be developed based on feedback!

ESS Modernization Monthly Communication – June 2019

Emergency Support Services – Logo Contest

EMBC is pleased to announce the next step in ESS program rebranding. Provincial feedback suggested the broken house logo does not accurately reflect the good work of volunteers, and is inconsistently applied across the Province. The new ESS logo will be used on all EMBC documents, including forms, websites and public communications. Though a common logo provides for continuity of “look”, there is no requirement that Local Governments will immediately replace their own ESS logos with the Provincial one. EMBC recognizes the time and money that have been put into branding; including jackets, vehicles and trailers, and that changing these to the Provincial logo will take time.

EMBC is working to ensure the logo meets both the needs of the ESS community while aligning with current Government branding practices. As the ESS program is part of the Public Safety Lifeline Volunteer program, we want to ensure a clear alignment between the logo and the work ESS volunteers do. The symbol and design must serve as an identity for the important services volunteers provide and as a wayfinding device in the field, and include elements with meaning. The logos below are offered in a black and white colour scheme. Once a design has been selected, several colourized versions will be produced to fit different situations (patches, signage, forms, etc…), and the lines will be sharpened for high resolution imaging. The designs include symbols of people in cooperation and receiving shelter and are framed in outlines and solid shapes to allow them to be used on a variety of backgrounds and as stickers or patches.

EMBC is seeking your feedback, and is giving the ESS and Emergency Management community an opportunity to vote and decide on a logo that best depicts the new Emergency Support Services program.

Please respond with your choice of logo to to vote for one of the following logos by 12:00 noon May 24, 2019.


The most voted on design will be announced on the next ESS Modernization project communication.

 Thank You,

ESS Modernization

Emergency Management BC

Logo 1:

ESS Logo Option 1

Logo 2:

ESS Logo Option 2

Logo 3:

ESS Logo Option 3

Logo 4:

ESS Logo Option 4


Emergency Social Services Program – Name Change – Effective Immediately

I am pleased to inform you that effective immediately, Emergency Management BC has changed the Emergency Social Services program name to Emergency Support Services, to better reflect the nature of the supports provided.

EMBC has listened to local governments and their ESS teams, and has heard through many channels that the Provincial ESS program will be best served by a unified “brand” to clearly identify who we are and what we do. It has been suggested the broken house logo and the program name do not accurately reflect the good work of volunteers, and are inconsistently applied across the Province.

EMBC recognizes the importance of working with the ESS community and partners and through February’s monthly modernization communication a survey was sent out aimed at collecting information on capabilities and program composition in different jurisdictions to better understand the complexities behind local ESS programs.

One of the survey objectives was to provide an opportunity for Provincial feedback on the program branding.  With 76% of respondents voting for Emergency Support Services as the new program name.

This is just one of the changes you will see as part of the overall ESS modernization project. More information and details will be provided in Aprils monthly modernization communication.

Thank you,

Melia Walker | Director Mass Care and Emergency Social Services
Emergency Management BC
Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General


Emergency Social Services (ESS) Modernization Program Update – March 2019

Emergency Management British Columbia (EMBC) is working to improve the Provincial
Emergency Social Services (ESS) program through a project aimed at digitizing and modernizing
ESS delivery. This project will streamline processes so evacuated individuals can access services
more easily and efficiently.

The first phase of the digital ESS System is on track to be piloted in select communities for the
upcoming Freshet season. This pilot will include evacuee registration with a self-serve
registration option as well. The goal of the pilot is to reduce wait times for evacuees and
reduce processing time for volunteers. The intent is to trial the system in a real-time ESS
environment for Level One, Two and Three activations. To ensure continuity of service, current
ESS systems and forms will be maintained as a backup should the new system encounter
difficulties. The ESS teams will be expected to provide constructive and honest feedback on the
pilot system and work with the Province to ensure a viable product.

Next Steps
· Pilot begins April 01, 2019
· System ‘go-live’ date of April 15, 2019
· Next communication scheduled for April 19th , 2019

Melia Walker | Director Mass Care and Emergency Social Services
Emergency Management BC

ESS Modernization Monthly Communication – March 15 2019

Summary Results for ESS Survey


Emergency Social Services (ESS) Modernization Program Update # 3

The project team continues to make progress, designing and expanding the functionality of the digital registration and referral system while solving some of the issues related to privacy and information sharing.

The ESS modernization official communications address is now up and running, and all project questions or comments can be directed to The inbox is monitored by several members of the project team, who will ensure questions are answered in a timely manner.

The focus group had over 40 applicants, of which 25 were selected to best represent a cross section of the ESS community across the Province, including EPCs, ESSDs, First Nations, Mobile Support Team Members, JIBC instructors and ESS volunteers in addition to EMBC regional staff.

An ESS survey is now live and can be accessed at The survey will assist EMBC to collect information on capabilities and program composition in different jurisdictions to better understand the complexities behind local ESS programs. Results of the survey, alongside feedback from all engagement forums, will shape the future of the provincial program.

Thank you for your continued support and collaboration to advance this complex project, I look forward to continuing to work with you as we modernize ESS for the Province.

Melia Walker | Director Mass Care and Emergency Social Services
Emergency Management BC


Emergency Social Services (ESS) Modernization Program Update # 2

Thank you for your interest and support with modernizing the ESS Program. We received close to 40 expressions of interest to participate in the Phase 3 Focus Group. With a maximum of 25 spots available we are unable to include everyone. There will be additional opportunities to participate in focus groups during future phases of the project and I hope we continue to get the same level of interest as we did for phase 3.

We will continue to provide status updates during the monthly ESS Modernization Communication which will be sent out in the middle of each month.  The next communication is planned for February 15th, and will provide an overview on the work of the focus group, ESS survey (including ESS rebranding – name and logo) and project next steps.

As this is a priority project for EMBC, a dedicated ESS Modernization email has been created, providing you with a single point of contact for any communications related to the ESS modernization project –

Melia Walker
Director Mass Care and Emergency Social Services
Emergency Management BC

NOTE: BCAEM Vice-Chair Jon Wilson will be representing BCAEM membership on this Focus Group. If you have ideas to share, please email.


Emergency Social Services (ESS) Modernization Program Update # 1

Emergency Management British Columbia (EMBC) is pleased to announce that the next phase of the Emergency Social Services (ESS) modernization program has commenced. Multiple stakeholder engagement sessions, after action reviews, and conversations with those across the ESS community have demonstrated a clear need to modernize the system in order to meet the needs of evacuees, while better supporting ESS teams and integrating with modern emergency management practices. We would like to thank those of you who have provided feedback, support and suggestions regarding the modernization project, and extend an invitation for further collaboration. EMBC values the opinions of the ESS community and recognizes that feedback from the volunteers who perform the day to day services is critical to the success of this project.

Please find attached a “ESS Modernization Communication”. The project team will release these monthly to keep the community informed of developments, calls for action and opportunities to provide feedback and support. The project team is led by Melia Walker and the ESS section at EMBC and is composed of staff from EMBC, Public Safety and Solicitor General as well as the IT community. The team will pursue an aggressive project timeline in order to develop a product that can be used by teams in the fields as soon as possible, as such there will a high volume of communication coming forward from EMBC HQ in the coming months.

There are currently two opportunities to get involved in the project – more details can be found in the attached communication.

  1. Branding – name and logo. A survey will be released shortly on the name and look of the ESS program.
  2. Focus Group. EMBC is seeking your direct input in the modernization project. Please forward expressions of interest to your regional EMBC office by Jan 22, 2019. EMBC will contact you by Jan 25 to confirm your participation in the group and outline the next steps.

EMBC will also release a modernization email address shortly, where all questions regarding the project can be directed. We are anticipating a high level of email traffic, and the email inbox will be checked by the ESS staff together to ensure no one member becomes overwhelmed and we are able to address each question with the proper care and attention.

Thank you in advance for your participation and we look forward to working together to achieve success in the modernization project.

Brian Daszko | Emergency Social Services Specialist (Acting)
Emergency Management BC