PUBLIC SAFETY LIFELINE VOLUNTEERS
B.C.'s Public Safety Lifeline
About 13,000 people across the province volunteer their time and expertise in preparing for and responding to emergency situations. Emergency Management BC provides support for many volunteers and also provides the essential legal authority to recognized volunteer groups in responding to emergencies and disasters. Registered public safety lifeline volunteers are eligible for Worker's Compensation benefits and basic response expenses. There is also additional support available in the way of coordination and training.
Registered volunteers participate in Search and Rescue, Emergency Social Services, Emergency Radio Communications, EMBC Air, Road Rescue and General Services.
Each year, volunteers are recognized for their outstanding contributions in each of the disciplines during the Volunteer Recognition Award Ceremony.
There's always room for more public safety lifeline volunteers. You too can be part of the team.
To become a registered Emergency Management BC volunteer, contact the Emergency Management BC regional office closest to you and find out how.
Public Safety Volunteers
From helping to find the lost to comforting those left homeless by disaster, Public Safety Lifeline Volunteers make invaluable contributions to disaster response in British Columbia.
Emergency Social Services
Emergency Social Services provides short-term assistance to British Columbians who are forced to leave their homes because of fire, floods, earthquakes or other emergencies. This assistance includes food, lodging, clothing, emotional support and family reunification. Read more >>
British Columbia Search and Rescue
Annually, Search and Rescue volunteers in B.C. respond to over 1000 searches province-wide. Volunteer responders donate over 120,000 hours of their time on callouts and recent statistics show an astounding 95% of the subjects were found. Read more >>
Emergency Management BC Air Search & Rescue
EMBC Air's primary function is to assist Canadian Forces during search and rescue missions when additional resources are required. Currently, the organization includes over 100 aircraft crewed by more than 900 pilots, spotters and navigators. Read more >>
BC Road Rescue Service
BC Road Rescue is an organized service with members who may be requested to provide support to people involved in out-of-jurisdiction motor vehicle accidents where specialized skills and equipment are required. Read more >>
Emergency Radio Communications
During disasters and other serious emergency situations, when many other systems fail, a proven reliable means of communication has been emergency radio communications, notably “amateur” or “ham” radio. Emergency radio is a public safety lifeline that assists within the community and links the community in crisis to where relief and support can be coordinated. Read more >>
General Services Volunteers
The general service component is comprised of all other volunteers who provide their services to either a local authority or Emergency Management BC, including clerical staff, drivers, exercise facilitators, first aiders and manual workers. Volunteers who offer to perform short-term services in response to a specific emergency or disaster response task, will also be included in this component.
Public Safety Lifeline Volunteer
Years of Service Pins
We are pleased to announce that pins are now available to recognize years of service contributed by EMBC registered volunteers within the Public Safety Lifeline. The pins are available in five year increments (5 - 35 years) for Emergency Social Services, Emergency Radio, Search and Rescue, Road Rescue and EMBC Air.
Click here >> to learn more about ordering pins for your team.
Referrals Unit Online
An online course offering, Emergency Social Services British Columbia Emergency Management System is intended for volunteers and others who share the common goal of assisting people in an emergency. The online version provides increased accessibility and is available. Click here >>
Announcing the launch of a new Online ESS resource. The Referrals Unit Online is intended as a resource for ESS team volunteers and others who would perform the role of Referrals Unit Supervisor or Worker when providing services to people affected by a disaster or emergency. Read more >> [PDF]
There's lots more to tell! Look over these articles about EMBC and the volunteer programs:
Of Interest to EMBC Volunteers
Volunteer ID Cards
The ability for a volunteer to identify him/herself to persons in authority at an emergency site is critical to the performance of their duties. EMBC volunteers include Search & Rescue, Emergency Social Services, EMBC Air, Radio Communications, Highway Rescue, and General Service. EMBC provides emergency response volunteers with an official identity card. Group/team leaders and volunteers can review the application process [PDF] prior to submitting a registration [PDF]
The EMBC Policy Manual and Bulletins are held by EMBC Regional Offices and may be provided to the coordinators of volunteer groups.
A variety of up-to-date forms available for download in Adobe Acrobat format.
Emergency Services Volunteers Injury, Disability, Accidental Death, Liability and General Insurance Coverage (2008) [PDF]
Information regarding WorkSafeBC, Insurance & Liability Protection for Volunteers.
Confirmation Letter [PDF] from EMBC regarding WorkSafeBC, Insurance and Liability coverage provided for Public Safety Lifeline Volunteers.
PSLV Safety Program
This policy outlines the roles and expectations of EMBC, volunteer supervisors and volunteers, and provides overarching policy with respect to key safety priories for all PSL volunteer disciplines.
Worker Care Materials and Tools Click Here >>
Websites of Affiliated Volunteer Groups
Below are provided links to affiliated volunteer organizations and societies web pages.