All 211 Service Providers at Emergency Response and Recovery Institute

All 211 Service Providers at Emergency Response and Recovery Institute


Every 211 service provider across Canada attended a one day training workshop in Niagara Falls in October. Participants from 6 provinces focussed on the role of 211 in emergency response and recovery. A presentation on the role of New Jersey 211 in supporting people affected by Hurricane Sandy opened the workshop. The importance of building trustworthy relationships prior to needing them, the requirement for continual flexibility and the particular vulnerability of people without family who are isolated, were a few of the many key learning points.

The experience and learning from the current 211 Role in Emergency Response and Recovery Collaborative Project, which has funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, was presented. It included the importance of relationships with municipalities, including up to date notification lists, the role of databases of information relevant in the disaster that may not be needed at other times and preparation and training of staff.

Highlights of other workshops were the experience of the 211 service in Calgary during the June floods, the skills of partnering, the importance of the Alliance of Information and Referral Systems (AIRS) Standards that are the backbone of 211 service in Canada, the importance of de-briefing with stressed staff who are dealing with continual calls from anxious residents and a commitment to continue to enhance national 211 training and education in this area.