Sally Ann in Kelowna looking for emergency team volunteers

Information session planned for April 5 at the organization’s Community Church

The Salvation Army will hold an information session in early April for anyone interested in volunteering with its Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) team.

The session is scheduled for April 5 at 6 p.m. at the Salvation Army’s Kelowna Community Church (1480 Sutherland Avenue).

The Salvation Army describes 2017 as an unprecedented year with fires and floods in the Central Okanagan.

“During that time, we worked together with Emergency Support Services (ESS) and welcomed over 4,000 evacuees through our doors,” says a news release issued by the organization Friday.

Its Kelowna, its Community Church also served as a reception centre for those displaced by the emergencies last year.

While ESS volunteered registered evacuees, they also provided evacuees with information that was available at that time.

Team volunteers also assist in receiving and processing community donations and provide vehicle support, including driving, maintenance and set-up. The organization has a mobile community kitchen stationed in Kelowna for use across the province.

In addition to its local work last year, two Kelowna Salvation Army teams were sent to Williams Lake to assist with its reception centre, providing meals for evacuees and emergency personnel dealing with the wildfires.

“None of this is possible without an army of volunteers who can respond to those facing disaster with a heart of compassion and desire to serve,” says the release.

In our effort to be proactive this year, this information session has been scheduled ahead of the “flood”

season, and will give attendees a better idea of:

• What is needed to volunteer with Emergency Disaster Services?

• Who can volunteer?

• What training is provided?

• When are volunteers needed?

• What are your next steps?

Emergency displacement for any reason is always a difficult and often a traumatizing situation to be in, says the Salvation Army.

Historically it has been known globally to be one of the first to respond on scene to an emergency and meet immediate needs during such crucial times.

“Our team is seasoned in being able to mobilize teams at short notice to provide what is needed. By being a part of our team, you will have a unique opportunity to learn how to walk alongside those facing disaster in practical ways.”

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