Comox Valley Emergency Support Services (CVESS)

The Heart of Disaster Response

Emergency Support Services is a program of the Provincial Government that provides short term relief to British Columbians who have been forced from their homes as a result of a natural disaster or other emergency situation.

CVESS is made up of volunteers from the Comox Valley who, when disaster strikes, have the training to set-up and run an Emergency Reception Centre. Services provided in a Reception Centre include registration of individuals and families as well as family reunification and referrals for clothing, food, lodging, and other critical needs for up to 72 hours.

Comox Valley Emergency Support Services: Promotional Video

This video project was created for Comox Valley Emergency Support Services (CVESS) by Youth Media Project director Harley Shewfelt; made in partnership with the Comox Valley Art Gallery with support from the Comox Valley Emergency Program

Training for volunteers includes:

  • Reception Centre Operations
  • Registration and Referrals
  • Meet and Greet
  • Resource Acquisition
  • Documentation
  • Pet Care
  • Group Lodging
  • Volunteer Management

ESS representatives in each Comox Valley community play a major role in the Comox Valley's coordinated response to emergency/disaster situations.

Contact CVESS

For more information or to become a member of the CVESS team, please call 250-334-6000 or email.

Comox Valley Ground Search and Rescue (CVGSAR)

CVGSAR is a 100% volunteer-driven organization comprising volunteers from every aspect of the community, who receive training ranging from Rope and Swift Water Rescue to Avalanche Rescue and First Aid, to name only a few.

We are a very dynamic group. Members are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and respond to a wide variety of emergency situations. In 2005, we contributed over 12,000 hours to Search and Rescue Operations, Educational Programs, and Community Events.

Our main area of responsibility ranges from Oyster River in the North to Cook Creek in the South and Buttle Lake in the West to the Georgia Strait in the East, including Denman and Hornby Islands. There has been a steady increase in number of Search and Rescue Operations over the last few years, from an average of approximately 15, 5 years ago, to over 40 in 2005, our busiest year on record.

Contact CVGSAR

For mor inromation or if you would like to join the CVGSAR team, please contact CVGSAR at 250-334-3211, email us at, or visit our website at

Comox Valley Emergency Radio Communications (CVERC)

Mission: CVERC provides radio communications links for message handling and disaster reporting to other agencies and organizations such as other municipalities or the Provincial Government.

Our Team: We are a volunteer organization of licensed amateur radio (ham) operators.


  • If you are already a licensed ham radio operator and are interested in volunteering for the program, contact us at one of the email addresses listed below.
  • If you are a licensed ham radio operator not wishing to volunteer for the program directly, but would like to help in an emergency, we would like to talk to you about where you are located and what radios you have. In addition to front-line communications volunteers, the CVERC team needs volunteers in the community who have had experience with radio communication to help with a variety of jobs related to our emergency communications operation.
  • If you are interested in volunteering in this activity but do not have your amateur radio license, we encourage you to contact us for further information.
  • We provide opportunities to learn more about our program and how you can help during an emergency. As a CVERC volunteer, you may give as much or as little time as you have to spare, knowing that you are making a difference by allowing your name to be on our list of potential emergency helpers. This is a great way to support your community.

Contact CVERC:

  • For general information, contact Scott Goodman, Comox Valley Emergency Radio Coordinator, by email.
  • To apply to join the CVERC team, contact Howie Siemens, CVEP Emergency Program Coordinator, at  250-334-6000 or email.