Emergency support services training

Emergency Support Services (ESS) teams engage in training and exercises as part of their continued commitment to deliver ESS in the community. These are critical to the ongoing improvement of local and regional level planning for responses to emergency events that displace people.

We are working closely with our partners to provide new alternative learning pathways for ongoing access to ESS courses. These options must:

  • be accessible to a diverse array of ESS teams in communities across B.C.
  • be considerate of the health and safety of participants and instructors, and
  • mitigate the risk of exposure to communities and facilities involved in hosting training sessions

Changes to training delivery

Many First Nation and Local Governments are accustomed to hosting in-person ESS training in their communities. Due to COVID-19, most in-person training has been cancelled. We will continue to work with these communities as they consider using the following learning formats:

  • Online (self-paced, time bound)
  • Virtual (scheduled, virtual classroom, instructor led)
  • Hybrid (blend of online and virtual)
  • Streaming/Teleconference (in-person classroom setting with course materials; instructor joining as remote co-facilitator)
  • Correspondence

If you need help with course enrollment, understanding prerequisites, or transcripts contact the Justice Institute of BC (JIBC) by phone 604 528-5667 or e-mail ess@jibc.ca.

New course offering 

This is a new course offering currently under development for First Nations and Local Governments who are in the process of integrating or modernizing their ESS program delivery and/or ESS plans. The ESS Workshop will include credit for Intro to Emergency Support Services (EMRG-1600).

The pilot course is anticipated to run as a blended online/virtual course in Winter 2020, with scheduled offerings beginning in Spring 2021.

Prerequisite: None

New hybrid training options

Hybrid courses are a mix of self-directed coursework and virtual classwork, led by an instructor.

Course LinkRegistration and Referrals (EMRG-1615)

The Registration & Referrals (R&R) course has transitioned to include a hybrid online/virtual course facilitated by JIBC instructors.

This new offering is equivalent to the R&R in-person course for ESS Responders, covering foundational policy and procedures of the registration and referral functions, with interactive learning opportunities for applied individual and group practice.

Prerequisite:  EMRG-1610

Course Link: ESS Director Course (EMRG-1618)

The current in-person course model is being transitioned to include a hybrid (online/virtual) course option. This new format will be delivered over a consecutive week period, including a self-paced portion supported by instructor-led online scenario-based group learning, and virtual classroom sessions with remote access to the ESSD simulations.

The ESSD course is postponed until Spring of 2021.

Prerequisites:  EMRG-1615 and EMRG 1100


Self-directed online courses

These online courses are available year-round, available to anyone through the Justice Institute of BC (JIBC).

*Prerequisite: EMRG 1600

ESS responders are encouraged to learn more about the roles and responsibilities of their colleagues in Search and Rescue (SAR) by registering for:

Correspondence courses**

  • Introduction to Emergency Support Services (EMRG -1600)
  • Level One ESS (EMRG-1607)

**ESS Directors may request correspondence manuals from JIBC by emailing ess@jibc.ca

EMBC sponsored courses

Local emergency programs may request EMBC sponsored in-person courses to support ongoing training and exercises for their ESS teams. These requests are vetted and/or submitted by Emergency Program Coordinators (EPC) and ESS leadership on behalf of responders.

Training schedule


Webinars cover a variety emergency management topics applicable to the ESS program delivery and as a complement to formal training courses. Pre-recorded webinars are on the EMBC webinars page.

EMBC Webinars