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Emergency Support Services (ESS) Program

Grants to British Columbia Local Governments and
First Nations to Increase Emergency Service Capacity

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) - Community Emergency Preparedness Fund (CEPF) and Province of BC

Deadline Date:



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Grants of up to $25,000 to British Columbia local governments and First Nations for new projects to increase the capacity of local emergency response services. Funding is intended for equipment, training, and volunteer retention and recruitment. The 2020 focus is to support the modernization of local Emergency Support Services programs in order to move toward electronic registration and reporting.

Eligible costs are direct costs that are approved by the CEPF Evaluation Committee, properly and reasonably incurred, and paid by the applicant to carry out eligible activities. 

Eligible activities must be cost-effective and may include:

  • Purchase of supplies and equipment in support of modernization (i.e. computers, printers, and mobile devices)
  • Purchase of supplies and equipment (i.e. reception center kits, group lodging kits and storage containers for supplies and equipment)
  • Training and exercises to increase capacity for the provision of emergency support services, including travel costs
  • Volunteer recruitment and retention activities directly related to the provision of emergency support services

The following expenditures are also eligible provided they relate directly to the eligible activities identified above:

  • Consultant costs
  • Incremental applicant staff and administration costs
  • Public information costs

Higher application review scores will be given to projects that:

  • Were not funded as part of the 2017 or 2018 Emergency Social Services intake
  • Support the modernization of local ESS programs in order to move toward electronic registration and reporting
  • Clearly demonstrate how the capacity of the eligible applicant to deliver emergency support services in their community will be increased
  • Support recommendations or requirements identified in the local Emergency Plan
  • Demonstrate transferability to other local governments and First Nations in BC
  • Include in-kind or cash contributions to the project from the eligible applicant, partnering applicant(s), community partners or other grant funding
  • Are cost-effective

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 187238

Estimated Size of Grant:

The Emergency Support Services funding stream can contribute a maximum of 100% of the cost of eligible activities to a maximum of $25,000.

Term of Contract:

All approved activities are required to be completed within one year of approval. Under exceptional circumstances, an extension beyond this date may be requested in writing and is subject to approval by the CEPF Evaluation Committee.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

All local governments (municipalities and regional districts) and all First Nations (bands and Treaty First Nations) in BC are eligible to apply.

Funding requests from two or more eligible applicants for regional projects may be submitted as a single application for eligible, collaborative projects.

Any activity that is not outlined above or is not directly connected to activities approved in the application by the CEPF Evaluation Committee is not eligible for grant funding. This includes:
- Routine or ongoing operating costs (i.e. heating and lighting; security; software subscriptions or other subscription fees)
- Delivery of emergency support services during an emergency
- Activities intended to increase the capacity of third party organizations to deliver emergency support services on behalf of the approved applicant
- Training offered through the EMBC 2019/2020 ESS Training program
- Major capital improvements or renovations to existing facilities and/or construction of new, permanent facilities
- Purchase of vehicles
- Costs related to developing or submitting the application package

Pre-Application Information:

- The application deadline for the 2020 program is February 14, 2020.
- Applicants will be advised of the status of their application within 90 days of the application deadline.

If you choose to submit your application by e-mail, hard copies do not need to follow.

Eligible applicants can submit one application per intake, including regional applications or participation as a partnering applicant in a regional application.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

All applications should be submitted to:


Or mail to:
Local Government Program Services, Union of BC Municipalities
525 Government Street,
Victoria, BC, V8V 0A8

For inquiries about the application process or general inquiries about the program, please contact the email address above, or call (250) 387-4470.

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

Canada: British Columbia

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