Emergency Disaster Services
In Canada, The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services program began back in December 1917 in response to the Halifax Disaster. The Salvation Army dispatched personnel from across the country to assist with relief efforts which lasted for months. In addition to providing for the practical needs of those impacted, such as food and clothing, Salvation Army Officers provided emotional and spiritual support to responders.
Today, The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) has grown into an international network involving thousands of trained personnel worldwide, including many volunteers. EDS personnel respond to incidents of various sizes and scopes. In following with its holistic ministry, the Army provides support that meet the immediate, as well as long-term, physical, emotional and spiritual needs of disaster survivors and responders.
The Red Shield continues to be a symbol of hope and compassion; of immediate aid, psychological support and spiritual counsel to individuals and families whose lives have been disrupted or shattered by forces beyond their control. For example, in May 2016, when raging wildfires triggered the evacuation and caused catastrophic damage in Fort McMurray, Alberta, The Salvation Army was immediately on the scene providing food, hydration and emotional support to those fighting the fire.
In 2017 during the devastating fire season in the province The Salvation Army Penticton supported evacuation centres in Penticton and worked closely with the Emergency Social Services assisting displaced residents and providing a welcome to the evacuation centres. Throughout the province The Salvation Army had teams and mobile kitchens providing food, clothing and practical support to displaced residents and first responders.
If you would like to join our team of volunteers please contact The Salvation Army church to sign up for training. Call us at 250-492-6494.