NESST 2019 Hands Banner


The seventh annual Northern Emergency Support Services Training Conference (NESST) is being held in Prince George, BC on Friday, April 12 to Sunday, April 14, 2019.

This activity and training filled weekend is hosted by the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George, City of Prince George, Peace River Regional District, Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako, Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine, Village of Telkwa, Town of Smithers, City of Terrace, District of Taylor, City of Fort St John, and District of New Hazelton. 

Registration Fee:   Early bird registration $125 per person until March 12, 2019 After March 12, 2019, $150 per person

    *All registrations and cancellations must be received by March 31, 2019

    **If you are registering as a team, please register each member individually.

Gift Baskets:   Your hosts request that each team bring a gift basket to be given away during the Volunteer Appreciation Dinner.  Some ideas include local arts and crafts or community promotional items.

Click here to REGISTER 


Courses and Workshops

Friday, April 12, 2019

Networking Event with Presentation TBD and World Cafe provided by DPS

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Saturday Option 1:  One Full Day Course

Choose from one of three Full Day Accredited Courses through the Justice Institute BC

Course 1 - Registrations and Referrals - JIBC

Registration and Referrals describes the process for registering evacuees and for providing them with referrals for food, clothing, and lodging. It also covers basic interviewing skills. The course includes completion of the ESS File (Registration and Service Record) and Referral forms.

Course 2 - Resource Acquisition - JIBC

Learn about the roles, functions, and planning of a Resource Acquisition unit in a Reception Centre. Learn about the identification of essential resources, how to set up agreements with suppliers before an emergency occurs, and how to access, distribute, and track these resources during an emergency. 

Course 3 - Conflict Resolution / Collaborative Problem Solving
**Course information pending

Saturday Option 2:  Take Two Workshops and One Half-Day Course

Choose two of the following four workshops to attend in the morning:

9:00am – 10:00am

Option 1 - Northern Health Authority

Northern Health's experience during the 2017/2018 Wildfires and their role as Public Health in ensuring the protection of the health and safety of the Public

Option 2 - Recovery in Williams Lake from 2017 Wildfires

Dave Dickson will be discussing the experiences and learnings around the Williams Lake Evacuation and more importantly, the Recovery Process involved with the 2017 wildfire season.

11:00am – 12:00pm

Option 1 - Indigenous Cultural Awareness – College of New Caledonia

The 2017 and 2018 wildfires resulted in the evacuation of many First Nation communities.  As a result, host communities and First Nations are thinking about how to prepare for future events in a way that reflects the multi-jurisdictional nature of emergency response, the capacity and interest of First Nations to manage the provision of supports for their residents, and how host communities can contribute.  This session will explore the legislation and accompanying policies that impact how all levels of government, including First Nations, respond.  In addition, participants will have the opportunity to consider steps they can take to support First Nations to provide emergency evacuation supports for their residents and learn about successful models utilized by urban Indigenous led organizations in communities that hosted First Nations evacuees.

Option 2 - 2018 Wildfires Panel Discussion (Response, Supplier Relations, Key Learning, etc)

Join our panel of ESS experts for a meaningful and authentic conversation on the regional ESS response that took place across the North during the 2018 Wildfires.  We will discuss the leadership required and the resources/skills that make our teams effective in these crisis situations.  We will also examine key accomplishments, challenges, concerns and solutions to help improve the ESS program and continue to build capacity.  

Moderated by Naomi Nyuli (Gourlay), ESS Program Coordinator, Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine

Panelists include: 

-  Haley Jeffrey, Emergency Services Manager/ESSD, Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako

-  Michelle Taylor, Skeena Valley ESSD 

-  Adam Davey, Emergency Programs & Fire Services Manager, City of Prince George

-  Cathy Pamenter, Stikine Region ESS

-  Matt Herzog, Smithers ESSD

-  Anita deDreu, Emergency Services Coordinator, Regional District of Fraser Fort George

Or take the morning session of ICS 100

Choose one of the following half-day courses to attend in the afternoon:

Course 1 – Modernizing ESS Documentation: A new Data Entry and Reporting Tool – Justin Cartwright and David Poulin, ESS Kamloops IT

In this hands-on session participants will use their own computers to interact with the new ESS Task Data Entry Program. This advanced Microsoft Excel spreadsheet provides data entry, reporting and forecasting capabilities for ESS teams during major events. Developed by volunteers at the Kamloops Reception Centre during the 2017 wildfires, the program has been made freely available to all ESS teams in the province.  It is designed to be robust, self-contained, intuitive and easy to use. Upon completion of the workshop participants will have gained experience in:

1.  Understanding how the program can assist ESS Teams during an event

2.  Opening and successfully running the program

3.  Discovering the built-in self-guided tutorial and help functions

4.  Configuring program customization settings

5.  Entering referral data for evacuee registrations and extensions

6.  Using built-in data entry verification procedures to identify and correct errors

7.  Saving, printing and emailing the automated daily statistical reports

Participants are asked to bring their own Windows PC laptops (sorry, no Macs) to the workshop with Microsoft Excel 2007 or newer installed and the latest version of the ESS Task Data Entry Program already downloaded. To receive a copy of the Program, or to obtain assistance with downloading and opening it, please email at least one week before the conference. Participants may be organized into groups of two or three users per computer.

Course 2 - Incident Command System 100 – Justice Institute of BC

Learn a proven incident site management system for emergencies or disasters. Students will be introduced to an effective system for command, control, and coordination of response at an emergency site. The Incident Command System (ICS) is recognized as a flexible and scalable all-hazards system, which provides a common response framework suitable to any size of event. Gain a basic understanding of the Incident Command System, its organization, principles, basic structure and common responsibilities. This course is the first in a series of ICS training courses and will be of particular interest to first responders and those who have a site-support role in an Emergency Operations Centre (EOC).

Course 3 - Meet & Greet – Salvation Army

This introductory workshop is offered to those persons on The Salvation Army or Emergency Support Services teams interested in Meet & Greet responsibilities.  The purpose of the workshop is to provide participants with the knowledge and skills to meet and direct someone traumatized by disaster to any and all services required in an ESS Reception Centre - beginning the process of Recovery!

Objectives:  Upon completion of Meet and Greet, participants will have a working knowledge of the following:

1.  Introduction to Meet and Greet

2.  Introduction to the Meet and Greet Worker role

3.  Directing people within a Reception Centre

4.  Meeting Vulnerable Population Needs

5.  Emotional and Spiritual Care

6.  Meet and Greet Worker stress

Course 4 - Preparing Your Reception Centre with Harm Reduction – Carolyn Sinclair
This workshop will introduce tips and tools for incorporating harm reduction education, equipment and safety into the planning and set up of ESS Reception Centres and Group Lodging facilities.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Choose one of the following breakout sessions to attend:

Breakout 1:  A Brainstorm/Roundtable for ESSDs and Program Managers to discuss Regional Evacuation Strategies –

This session is for ESS Directors and Program Coordinators to collectively put their knowledge and experience to the test in a real-time emergency scenario that could devastate and impact communities across the North.  Operation Mass Care will allow participants to:

  • practice decision-making during an unfolding emergency
  • apply best practices and test plans
  • collaborate with ESS Leaders from other communities and gain valuable insight
  • exercise within a supportive environment
  • better understand the steps and players involved in a regional response

Bring your supplier lists, RC/GL facility inventories, stockpile counts, resource lists and anything else that you think might help.  Be prepared for a "worst-case" scenario for wildfire season and get set to rise to the challenge.

Breakout 2:  A Workshop for Responders to discuss Preparedness, Master of Disaster and other good stuff –

**Workshop information pending

Breakout 3:  Drill/Tabletop to practice interviewing with empathy, level one fundamentals, etc. 

**Workshop information pending

Breakout 4 – Trauma Informed Yoga – Julie Kaplan, Yoga Outreach

In this workshop, participants will learn skills needed to incorporate intentional breathing, mindfulness, and grounding into your work with people affected by disasters, as well as in your own life. Backed by credible research into the benefits of mindfulness-based stress reduction techniques and trauma-informed teaching practices, this highly experiential program will guide you through several simple yet powerful exercises that can be used in a Reception Centre, Emergency Operations Centre, or anywhere emergency services are offered. These techniques can also support your own self-care and strengthen personal resilience.

No yoga experience or props required. Course content provided by Yoga Outreach, a non-profit agency serving communities across BC for the past 23 years.


NESST 2019 Sponsors


Nisgaa Lisims LogoEMBC Logo


PNG Logo Platinum




 HEMBC Health Emerg Management Silver TaylorIndustrialMutualAidGroup


 Bronze Skeena Sawmills

NESST Supporters





Conference rates are available at the following hotels using the booking code NESST2019 until March 1, 2019:

Courtyard Marriott
900 Brunswick St,
250-596-6274  Book your group rate for NESST

Coast Inn of the North
770 Brunswick Street
250-563-0121  or

1458 7th Ave



NESST 2019 is being hosted by:

Peace River RD Logo Host  Fort St. James Logo Host PHSA Logo Host

RDBN Logo Host Fort St John Logo Host Taylor Logo Host Telkwa Logo Host

Town of Smithers Logo Host RDKS Logo Host

City of PG RDFFG