In 2022 NESST changed the name to the Network of Emergency Support Services Teams (NESST) and created a Society to recognize and support the broader ESS Community.
Over the last few years, many British Columbians have experienced significant disasters such as wildfires, flooding and landslides. It is crucial that we prepare our Emergency Support Services (ESS) Volunteers to respond effectively. The NESST conference provides multiple training and exercise opportunities. In Northern British Columbia, our municipalities are spread out. In order to bring volunteers together for training, we decided it would be more efficient to have a larger event that brought everyone together. By doing this we can provide multiple learning opportunities.
The Northern Emergency Support Services Training (NESST) Conference hosted its inaugural event in 2013 in Burns Lake with 50 ESS Volunteers attending. This number has grown every year, and in 2019 we hosted the 7th Annual NESST Conference in Prince George with 209 volunteers attending. In 2021 and 2022 the NESST conference was held virtually allowing continued support for our volunteers.
The annual NESST conference has grown to become an unparalleled platform through which ESS Volunteers, emergency management personnel, Indigenous/First Nations representatives, and emergency response organizations have the opportunity to build connections and share knowledge of how to work together during a disaster in a way that is respectful, supportive and collaborative.
This conference is funded by the generous support of our community organizations and corporations across BC. In an effort to continue to keep the cost of attendance low for the volunteers who attend, the NESST Organizing Committee, made up of Emergency Support Services leaders, volunteers and partner agencies from across BC, continues to reach out for assistance to fund the conference. If you are aware of a funding stream that may help support the conference please visit: https://www.nesst.ca/sponsorship.
The NESST conference will be held live and virtually in various locations, making it accessible to the maximum number of emergency responders throughout the province.