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 local 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 if required for 72 hours.

Training for volunteers is provided in a variety of areas such as:

  • Reception Centre Operations,
  • Registration and Referrals,
  • Meet and Greet,
  • Resource Acquisition,
  • Documentation,
  • Child Care (no training available),
  • Pet Care,
  • Group Lodging, and
  • Volunteer Management.

Local ESS representatives are an important part of the Comox Valley Emergency Program and play a major role in the Comox Valley's coordinated response to emergency/disaster situations.

Become a CVESS Volunteer

If you would like to be part of the CVESS team, please call 250-334-8890 or email.

Comox Valley Ground Search and Rescue (CVGSAR)

We are a 100% volunteer driven organization, with 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. Our 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, which marked that year as our busiest year on record.

If you would like to be part of 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: to provide communications links for message handling and disaster reporting to other agencies and organizations such as other municipalities or the Provincial Government.

Our Team: Local 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 but you do not wish 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. This is because, in addition to front line communications volunteers, the Comox Valley Emergency Radio Communications team needs volunteers out in the community. We need people 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 yet 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 volunteer in this area in your community, you may wish to give as much or as little time as you have to spare, but 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.


  • For general information, contact Scott Goodman, Comox Valley Emergency Radio Coordinator, by email at
  • To apply to join the CVERC team, contact Howie Siemens, CVEP Coordinator, at or 250-334-8890.